The Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF) would like to notify the general public that its Liwonde offices are open contrary to the story that the Nation Newspaper carried on 17th June, 2020.
In the article titled “Medef sic beneficiaries close office in Machinga” written by Patrick Ndalawa of Malawi News Agency (MANA), the Nation reported that “potential beneficiaries of the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF) loans in Machinga have closed the loan-lending institution’s offices at Liwonde Township”.
The fact of the matter is that the said beneficiaries as attested by social media conducted demonstrations on Thursday, 11th June, 2020 at Liwonde. In order to protect our officers, Management advised the officers to close the offices and avoid any possible confrontation with the group. The offices were opened in the afternoon the same day under Malawi Police guard to ensure that our operations are not disrupted.
And for Mr. Ndalawa and the Nation Newspaper to publish the story on Wednesday, six days later as “news” and scream that MEDF offices have been closed is an unfair way of practicing journalism. The fact is this story is unbalanced, taken from social media frenzy, and the Reporter never sought to talk to MEDF Management let alone the Regional Manager for Eastern Region who is based at Liwonde where the reporter is based. This is worrisome, to say the least.
If fairness and professionalism is the way to go by in the practice of journalism, the story needed a follow up specially to establish relevant facts on the development before publishing it six days later. This is the reason we categorically dismiss this story in its entirety and ask for a retraction because it is not a true reflection of the situation on the ground.
The public is further informed that the claimants that demonstrated have no justification and moral ground to disrupt MEDF operations in Machinga as the Chairperson for this group Kennedy Madani who has changed his real name in the story to Ked Matandi in third paragraph and Matindi in the sixth paragraph had his loan declined because he had provided fraudulent information and had no tangible business to support installments of the loan he applied for.
In addition, Mr. Madani had no collateral for the individual loan he had applied for but showed us a building which does not belong to him without the consent of the owner. This is a clear case of fraud. This is why journalists need to adhere to the cardinal pillars of Journalism: fairness, balance and objectivity to help them sieve lies from facts and report nothing but the truth.
Furthermore, the other members of this disgruntled group submitted files with inadequate documentation as some lack mandatory requirements of National IDs whilst others withdrew their applications after we requested them to file adequate papers.
MEDF just like any other financial institution is obliged to comply with the Reserve Bank of Malawi guidelines and directives to adhere to the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, including Regulatory and all legal instruments that govern loan disbursements. This is the reason MEDF has stood its ground not to grant loans to these people, a situation that has led to their being disgruntled and resort to using the media to gather public sympathy in this time of electioneering.
MEDF loans are not free for all plunder. People need to dust themselves
from the MARDEF (MEDF”s predecessor) preconceptions. The predicament that befell MARDEF gave Government enough lessons for future operations of this Revolving fund.
We know the environment is heated politically, but let us spare MEDF from politics and save it from being washed away by the political contestation.
Issued on 18th June, 2020.