The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has revoked content licences for Ufulu FM, Ufulu Television and Galaxy FM because they owe the regulatory body a total of K74 million in licence fees.
A statement signed by MACRA Director General, Daud Suleman, says Ufulu FM owes MACRA K27.2 million, Ufulu Television owes K18.1 million while Galaxy Radio is required to pay K28.9 million.
The three media houses were given a deadline of 22 August 2022 to pay their outstanding licence fees but they are yet to pay.
Failure to pay licence fees is a substantial breach of licence conditions.
Last week, MACRA also revoked the content licences of Joy Radio, Sapitwa FM and Capital Radio. Licences of Angaliba Radio and Angaliba Television and Rainbow Television’s licences were also canceled by MACRA for similar reasons.
Critics say MACRA’s action against the media houses is drastic considering the current economic conditions under the Lazarus Chakwera administration.
“Don’t forget that we’re passing through Negative environment whereby things are not working due to Ukraine and Russia war, Now MACRA before taking action they must consider about the negative environment which is within us,” one person said on social media.
Others have argued that the annual licence fees is possibly too high.
“Something must be wrong here…I think licence fees are too huge for the local broadcasting industry in the country. In normal circumstances, we can’t have all these broadcasting houses being closed for similar reasons,” a social media user said.