MACRA told to show proof that MBC pays license fees


MACRA director general Daud Suleman

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has been told to provide proof that public broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has been paying licence fees.

Forum for National Development (FND) has through their lawyers Adrian and Company written the communications regulatory body demanding a revelation on how the mother radio has been paying its annual license fees. This follows the revocation of licences for several radio stations by MACRA.

According to the letter seen by this publication, FND suspects that the recent spate of license revoking is being championed by the Malawi Government in an attempt to bar the local media from producing contents that criticizes the Tonse Alliance Government.

In the letter, FND believes that their demand on the matter will give MACRA a chance to defend itself on the speculations about shielding the state-funded MBC on license fees.

“In view of the matter aforesaid; and considering that the licenses being revoked are of private institutions; it may be construed that Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), is being used by the government to silence critical voices.

“Furnish the public and ‘our client’ all documents being proof of payment of Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC) TV, as well as Radio 1 and 2 towards license fees to the Malawi government through Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA),” reads part of the letter to MACRA.

The letter further gives MACRA 14 days to respond and says failure to do so, will force FND through their lawyer, Adrian and Company to proceed with legal action.

Over the past months, MACRA has revoked licenses for Ufulu FM, Ufulu Television, Galaxy FM, Rainbow Television and Angaliba TV and radio for failure to pay their license fees.

 

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