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Time to tame social media abuse- Information Minister

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Information and Communications Technology Minister Henry Mussa says social media abuse has become a serious vice that has to be tamed at all cost.

Henery Mussa and Times's CEO Leornard Chikadya-franked by Information PS Erika Maganga (r) and Times' editor Madalitso Musa (l) Henery Mussa and Times's CEO Leornard Chikadya-franked by Information PS Erika Maganga (r) and Times' editor Madalitso Musa (l)
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December


Mussa said this on Monday when he visited Times Media Group, Nation Publication Limited (NPL) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) as part of his familiarisation tour.


The Minister said he himself has been a victim of the vice as a facebook account bearing his name and pictures has been running and soliciting money from unsuspecting would-be-investors.


“If we are not careful, social media will tear down this country. We need to devise a way to uproot the vice without necessarily shrinking the space for social interaction just as is the case in other countries,” he said.


He however seized the opportunity to warn media houses in the country against publishing false information.


“Government and the media are both serving the common Malawi. We are both for the benefit of the information. But information must always be accurate and timely. News must always be factual. I will not entertain news that is only meant to sell,” warned Mussa.


After touring NPL, the institution’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alfred Mtonga appealed to Government through the Minister to consider pushing for government agencies and ministries to first honour what they owe private media houses before they let Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) pounce on them over non-remittance of taxes.


“The biggest part of adverts-which is a financial bloodline of media houses- is government. But what is happening now is we have government ministries and agencies that are owing media houses and at the same time we have a government agency, MRA pouncing on us for failure to remit taxes. I think it’s a high time we rectify this anomally,” said Mtonga.


On this, Mussa asked NPL to furnish his office with a compilation of ministries and agencies that are owing them.


“This is a genuine and serious concern, I will take it up,” pledged the Minister.


Mussa’s familiarization tour of media houses continued on Tuesday with the Multi-choice Malawi premises in Blantyre.

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