MACRA commences action against MBC

MBC Radio

…warns all broadcasters over hate speech

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has commenced action against Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and has warned all radio and television stations over hate speech.

In a statement today, the regulatory has expressed concern over the bulletin which MBC aired on Monday in which the broadcaster displayed a screenshot containing swear words against Vice President Saulos Chilima.

According to MACRA, the state broadcaster aired material deemed indecent, offensive and obscene under Section 22 (a) of the Communications Act.

The regulatory body also noted that MBC failed to take care and responsibility in the presentation of the material at a time a large proportion of the broadcaster’s audience were children.

“MACRA would like to assure the general public that it has commenced action against MBC in line with the Communications Act and its Regulations and has therefore given MBC a statutory notice of seven days to make representations on the preliminary findings of breach,” the authority said in its statement.

The regulatory authority has warned all broadcasters to refrain from using indecent material.

MACRA has also reminded broadcasters to ensure equitable allocation of airtime to candidates and avoid hate speech, abusive and inflammatory language during the official campaign period.

“MACRA shall not hesitate to invoke regulatory action against any broadcaster including MBC who will be in breach of the Communications Act and its Regulations,” reads part of the statement.

The MBC is funded by taxpayers but it is used by ruling parties for propaganda against opposition parties.