Chakwera urged to fire MACRA board

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) says the board of Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) should be dissolved for demonstrating selfish, unreasonable and careless tendencies.

The call comes after the MACRA spent K46 million on a trip to Dubai where five board members and two management officers attended a two-week training on corporate governance and information communication technology.

MACRA justified the training saying it was budgeted for and could not be conducted in Malawi.

In a statement released yesterday and signed by chairperson Gift Trapence, HRDC said Chakwera should immediately dissolve the MACRA Board and have people that are willing to serve Malawians and not the current Board that is bent on personal interests and self-enrichment.

According to Trapence, the conduct of the MACRA board does not inspire confidence and leaves a lot to be desired.

He noted that the board was hired to clean the rubble at an organization that was infested with corruption, nepotism and politicking but the board itself has ended up going astray.

“What message is the board sending to Malawians. Is this not a sign that the Board has already been captured by management?

“Also, how does management send the board for training even before the recruitment of a CEO and top management? Is the Board really in charge? Is this not inducement? Does this board have the interest of poor Malawians at heart?

“What is astounding is that this merry trip comes amidst the #datamustfall campaign—the cry by Malawians for MACRA to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to lower data rates. This trip clearly shows that Board’s priorities are lopsided and they are there to serve their self-interests,” said Trapence.

MACRA board is headed by chairperson Stanely Khaila with members including Dr Boniface Dulani, Reverend Father Henry Saindi of Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Tamanza Chidzanja, Isaac Songea and Samuel Chilembwe Malitoli.

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