MBC told to open up to opposition

Government has told the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) to rise above petty politics and give airtime to opposition political parties in the country.

Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Henry Mussa toured MBC offices in Blantyre yesterday where he told the public broadcaster to stop snubbing opposition politicians ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections.

“I have appealed to MBC as a public broadcaster to rise above petty party politics and serve the nation sincerely in a professional and accountable manner,” said Mussa.

He also reminded the public broadcaster that Malawians depends on its radio and TV for credible source of information.

“I have also asked MBC to share content of national interest with other media houses so that the entire nation is equally informed and educated on matters of national importance,” said Mussa.

In his remarks, MBC Director General Aubrey Sumbuleta said the public broadcaster is committed to providing fair coverage to all players in the forthcoming tripartite elections.

MBC  which uses taxpayers’ money rarely covers opposition politicians and has programmes that castigate the opposition particularly the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

In February last year,  MCP asked Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to stop MBC from airing programmes such as Never Again which attacks the opposition party. Macra dismissed the party’s concerns.

A few months later, MCP attempted to cut the broadcasters’ allocation from K1.8 billion to one Kwacha. A motion for the reduced funding was defeated in Parliament.