President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika has appointed Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) journalist Mgeme Kalirani as his Press Secretary replacing the fired Gerald Viola.
Chief Secretary to Government, George Mkondiwa confirmed the development and also said that newly appointed Director of Communications, Dr. Bright Molande replaces Bright Malopa in that post.
Mgeme Kalirani will be seconded from the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) while Molande has been seconded from the Ministry of Information, Communications Technology and Civic Education.
Kalilani becomes fourth Press Secretary under Mutharika since ascending to power in 2014. he has so far fired Viola, Fredrick Ndala and his number two Timpuza Mwansambo.
Mutharika hired Viola last year to replace Fredrick Ndala who was deployed to Ministry of Information as Technical Advisor before moved to Ministry of Trade and Industry to help champion the ‘Buy Malawi’ program which was launched by the President last month.
Viola rose to the position of Presidential Press Officer after the occupant of the office, Fredrick Ndala got unceremoniously fired after a scandal that revolved around money that was given to journalists when they visited State House in Blantyre for media face- off with President Mutharika in 2014.
It is understood that Viola was fired after he made headlines for telling Times Television that President Mutharika plans to buy a jet when the Malawi economy recovers and that some appointments are not done by the Head of State.
Several names were listed to replace Viola who was posted to Ministry of Information as Technical Advisor. MBC journalist Mzati Nkolokosa- a former feature writer for the Nation Publications and part time Polytechnic lecturer- and MBC’s Vincent Khonyongwa were tipped as potential successor to Viola.