Malawi Media in Retraction Over South African Lawyers Sneaking in - Times Story 'Correct'

President Peter Mutharika (file photo).
14 April 2020

One of Malawi's daily newspapers, The Nation and privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) have attracted their stories about two South African lawyers that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) engaged for the presidential elections appeal case sneaked in the country on Sunday April 12 2020 through Kamuzu International Airport.

Zodiak reported that the lawyers Dumisa Bhule Ntsebenza, SC and Elizabeth Makhanani Mere flew from South Africa but could not proceed from Mozambique because they were denied airspace due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

But Zodiak retracted the false reporting and apologised.

The Nation carried a story that the lawyer sneaked in the country on Sunday and issued a "correction" on its front page of Tuesday April 14 2020 - which was placed on the front gape right foot corner.

"However it has emerged from court that the lawyers did not make the trip due to travel restriction related to COVID-19. We regret the misrepresentation and retract the story-Editor."

A similar story also appeared on Nyasa Times and the online publication swiftly deleted the article and in its updated court story also posted a correction notice which was placed at the end of the article.

But the media correction still leaves a lot to be desired and the public jury is out there to question the mainstream media. However, the beauty of the professional news organisations such as The Nation, Zodiak and Nyasa Times is that they are held accountable to their news dissemination unlike fake news outlets and social media carpers.

The Daily Times newspaper, on the other hand, reported " correctly" that the South African lawyers did not make it in the country.

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