Malawi Flagship Newspaper Nation Closed in Tax Dispute

18 October 2019

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has shut down the flagship newspaper The Nation, which is critical of the government, accusing it of failing to pay taxes.

NPL's chief executive officer Mbumba Banda: Newspaper targeted because of its objective and critical stand

Mbumba Banda chief executive officer of Nations Publications Limited (NPL) founded by former political stalwart late Aleke Banda confirmed the closure of its main office in Blantyre over a tax compliance dispute.

But Banda and Managing Editor Ephraim Munthali did not comment on the matter as the publication's lawyers were seeking redress at the courts.

Media practitioners s said the newspaper had been closed because of its critical editorial policy and accused the authorities of trying to silence it.

Tax officials have not commented on the matter, but a government spokesman said the MRA were only trying to recoup unpaid taxes.

Malawian government spokesman Mark Botomani denied assertions that the regime is on a media clamp down.

Freedom House, a non-governmental organization which ranks press freedom worldwide, classified impoverished Malawi as "partly free" in its 2017 ranking.

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