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Malawi presidency responds angrily to 'charlatan' impostor

Peter Mwai

BBC Reality Check

The office of Malawi's president has responded angrily to a Twitter account pretending to be him and went on to take a stand on Zimbabwean politics in a series of tweets.

“It is the illegal work of charlatans and impostors with no connection to his Excellency,” a statement from the president's office says.

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On Monday a Twitter account, describing itself as belonging to the president, posted messages in support of opposition figures and human rights campaigners in Zimbabwe.

“l would like to express my deep concern to the people of Zimbabwe , you deserve to be listened to,” one of the tweets read.

Some online users mistook it for the official account, praising the president for his stand.

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The account in question was created in May 2012 and has been changing names frequently. This week the Twitter handle has changed three times.

One of those times the account was changed to @LAZARUSCHAKWARA - which spells President Lazarus Chakwera's last name incorrectly.

The president's real account is @LAZARUSCHAKWERA and was created two years ago.

The government is in the process of ensuring the president’s account is verified by Twitter, spokesperson Sean Kampondeni told the BBC.

Verified accounts have a blue badge - with a tick - appearing next to the name on an account's profile and next to the account name in search results. This lets people know that an account is authentic.