Though it was established to be a public broadcaster decades ago, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has been seen losing direction and being a propaganda tool for the ruling party.
With a role of providing checks and balances in the country, MBC has been noted to be snubbing that mandate through serving the party in power and not Malawians who at the end of the day contribute something for the running of the media house through tax.
Following the trend, the now ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has followed suit. The party has been faulted for fighting political opponents through Television and Radio programs and news sources that seal the truth of the matter by clapping hands for the party and giving praise to the current leadership.
The media house is notorious for remaining mute on issues like corruption when those being accused of the conduct are connected to the ruling party.
Commenting on the matter, a political scientist, Wonderful Mkhutche, has advised the ruling party not to compromise MBC’s mandate of serving the interests of the public through using it in spitting venomous words to other parties.
“Government should understand that all its actions will always be under scrutiny. This is done as a way to keep it in check, responsible and get the best from it. But government has interpreted any news against it as political opposition to be subdued. It therefore uses the MBC. This has destroyed the credibility of the national broadcaster, in the end, compromising the role of media in our politics.
“The solution is for government to free MBC by using it for development purposes. It is possible only that government is too insecure, especially amidst an active independent media that tightly scrutinize its actions,” said Mkhutche.
He added by calling for a “strong and independent” media in the country for consolidation of democracy.
However, DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila has distanced the party from reports of abusing the state broadcaster arguing it does not force the media house to attack the party’s opponents.
“This is for MBC editorial, they choose what to be aired just the way other media houses like Zodiak and Times do, we are not involved in the programs and news that are aired on MBC,” said Kasaila in an interview with Malawi24 on Tuesday afternoon.