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UK envoy visits Times, advocates free media

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The new British High Commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett, called on government to ensure that the media is free to operate in the country without interference.

Tett said a free media is important for the consolidation of democracy and as such, the government should strive towards making the media free.

She was speaking on Wednesday after touring Times Group premises in Blantyre where she held talks with senior managers at the oldest media house.

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“A free and independent media is important and it is good that here in Malawi you have a good media unlike other countries in the region. The media has a role to inform the people in Malawi concerning what is happening in this country. But for it to operate effectively, we need a free environment. The recent case of Times Group and Government is in court and I think we should wait for its resolution. But we indeed need a free and independent media in the country,” Tett said.

Tett further said she will ensure that the British High Commission plays a role in building the capacity of members of the media in Malawi.

The High Commissioner is also visiting Southern Region districts to appreciate the extent of hunger, drought and floods that have hit the country in the last two growing seasons.

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Tett presented her credentials to President Peter Mutharika on January 11 after succeeding Michael Nevin whose tour of duty ended in September last year.

Before her arrival into the country earlier this month, Simon Mustard served as the UK’s temporary High Commissioner.

The UK currently runs a £150 million (approximately K150 billion) development programme in Malawi to help progress and lift people out of poverty.

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