MultiChoice obtains injunction against Macra

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority director general Daud Suleman

MultiChoice Malawi has obtained a court order restricting Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) from taking any action against MultiChoice Malawi and its employees.

The injunction obtained today at the High Court in Lilongwe stops Macra from making any enforcement measures as regards the services provided by MultiChoice Malawi until the judicial review case which is currently in court is determined.

MultiChoice Malawi lawyer Wapona Kita has told Zodiak Online that the order follows Macra’s statement that it would commence a criminal offence against MultiChoice or its employees.

Speaking to the Nation, Macra director general Daudi Suleman said despite MultiChoice Malawi terminating DStv services in Malawi, DStv signals are still landing in Malawi illegally.

He added that the injunction will prevent Macra from taking action on the issue.

“Use of spectrum without a license is a serious offence under the Communications Act. Our legal team will contest this and regulatory enforcement will take place against any illegal
operator as per law and regulation,” Suleman told Nation Online.

MultiChoice and Macra are already engaged in a legal battle over tariffs. Macra argues that MultiChoice is required to seek approval from the regulatory body before implementing any tariff adjustment.

In 2022, MultiChoice Malawi went to court challenging Macra’s
determination that MultiChoice had breached its statutory and licence obligations by raising DSTv tariffs without prior approval from Macra.

In July this year, MultiChoice increased DStv tariffs but Macra obtained an injunction saying the tariffs were not approved and implementation of the adjustment needed to await conclusion of the judicial battle.

In reaction, MultiChoice last month terminated DStv services in Malawi.

Today, Suleman has written MultiChoice approving the July 2023 tariffs and encouraging the company to resume DStv services.

However, MultiChoice has said any potential return depends on the ruling in their judicial battle.