MACRA changes tune on MBC hearing


The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has walked back on its decision to summon the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) saying it wants to investigate despite having a recording of the bulletin in which MBC labelled the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) a terrorist group.

According to MACRA Director General Godfrey Itaye, the bureau has made the U-turn due to new information that has been gathered

“We hereby inform you that MACRA has gathered new information on the matter which requires further information.

“We therefore withdraw the earlier letter and will revert in due course for the next course of action,” wrote Itaye in a letter to MBC dated 24 January 24.

Last week, MBC described the HRDC as gulu la za uchifwamba (terrorist group) following demonstrations which the grouping conducted.

MACRA then condemned the broadcaster for the description saying it was abusive and insulting. The regulatory body added that MBC’s statement was likely to affect public order and tranquility which is contrary to the Communications Act.

Last week, the HRDC demanded an apology and K200 million from the state broadcaster saying the money is for injury caused on its reputation.

The coalition threatened to commence legal proceedings against MBC if the broadcaster fails to respond before the 27th of January, 2020.