Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs has condemned the sharing of fake news on the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) as it is hampering Governments efforts in promoting preventive measures of the pandemic.

The Minister made the remarks while opening a three-day Capacity Building Workshop on SADC Regional Integration and COVID-19 in Lilongwe on 11th August, 2020. The Workshop, which was organized by the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), was aimed at enabling NICE District Information Officers and Community Radios in the Central Region to effectively promote preventative messages on COVID-19, and community involvement in the SADC Regional Integration Agenda in Malawi.

Hon Mkaka implored NICE District information officers and representatives of Community Radios to work alongside Government to fight fake news and disinformation. He said through disseminating innovative messages that promote preventative measures to the masses, Malawi could combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Regional Integration, the Minister indicated that his office is open to further engage NICE and other organizations in promoting community involvement in SADC and African Union integration processes.

On his part, Mr. Ollen Mwalubunju, Executive Director of NICE indicated that his organization expects that the Workshop would empower the participants to effectively impact their communities on issues of COVID-19 and Regional Integration. “As community Broadcasters and NICE, we have a duty of informing the masses and raising awareness to all Malawians on the SADC Regional Integration so that as a nation we can benefit. This is why we need to be equipped with knowledge,” said Mwalubunju.

The training workshop was sponsored by the European Union (EU) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) Gaborone. The EU was represented at the Workshop by Ivo Hoefkens, Chargé d’Affaires of the European Union in Malawi.