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Fake news Malawi-style; What Malawians are being told their president did here in Kenya


While fake news is an international problem, a leading Malawian publication by the name The Times Group seems to have taken it to a whole different level. When reading excerpts of the newspaper as they reported about their president’s Kenyan visit, one couldn’t help wondering whether it was the same Mashujaa Day that we saw. Technically it wasn’t, as the newspaper reports that their president was here for Jamhuri Day, to begin with. It’s hard not to marvel and even laugh at the fictitious speech it was trying to convince Malawians their president gave. It is an incident that makes one wonder whether our own local newspapers also feed us with imaginary events and speeches whenever our leaders make foreign trips.


The newspaper claims that when Lazarus Chakwera was giving his speech, he talked about how our founding father hosted theirs on a joyous October. They also have president Chakwera saying his government decided that the road it would upgrade in Malawi was going to be Kenyatta Drive, during a recent roads upgrade campaign.


Although the Malawian president did indeed touch on the similarities of the two countries’ Independence struggles, no where did he talk about our founding fathers hosting each other on a joyous October. As for the road upgrades, that was total fiction. President Chakwera simply mentioned that there exists a Kenyatta Drive in Malawi.


In defence of the newspaper, perhaps it might be the case that the speech they quoted was handed to them by their presidential press service, and was probably the original speech, but then some changes were made to it in the last minute here in Nairobi.


Here is an excerpt of The Times Group article under the title, “Lazarus Chakwera grace’s Kenya’s Freedom Day Celebrations”

It is no accident that, within less than five years of Kenya and Malawi gaining their independence, the founding father of Kenya hosted the founding father of Malawi here in Kenya in a joyous October like this one. Even today, it is no accident that when my government was deciding which road in Malawi’s capital to upgrade to a multi-lane highway before any other, the obvious choice was the Kenyatta Drive,” Chakwera said in his address.


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