BLANTYRE, Malawi — Malawian authorities have banned a weekly tabloid newspaper for not properly registering with the government, a year after its first edition, the National Archives said on Saturday.
Joe Thaulo, acting director of the National Archives said in a statement: "The Weekend Times has been circulating close to a year without properly registering with the National Archives of Malawi."
Thaulo cited a 1958 law that all newspapers be registered and deposit a copy of each of their publications with the National Archives.
Leonard Chikadya, a managing director of the group of companies which published the Weekend Times, was quoted by private radio Zodiak as saying registration documents for the newspaper were lodged last week.
Chikadya said he had not seen the letter banning the newspaper whose circulation rose from 3,000 initially to 15,000.
The newspaper, which thrives on sensational reporting of love and scandalous stories of politicians and local celebrities is published by Blantyre Newspapers Ltd, a company owned by the family of former dictator Kamuzu Banda.
It also publishes a daily and two other weeklies, which were registered with the National Archives.
The ban comes three months after Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika threatened to shut down newspapers he accused of lying that up to one million Malawians will need food aid.
"I will close down newspapers that lie and tarnish my government's image," Mutharika said in August.
Mutharika often accuses local newspapers of negative reporting about Malawi.
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