Parley Tells Govt to Intervene on Radio License Revocations
The Parliamentary Committee on Media, Information and Communication has called on the ministry of information to intervene in the move the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has instituted to revoke broadcasting licenses for media houses that have failed to pay fees.
Committee chairperson McNice Aboo Naliwa, speaking during a meeting with officials from the ministry of information and digitization in Lilongwe on Thursday, expressed concern with the slow pace the ministry is taking to address the matter.
While acknowledging that what MACRA is doing is in line with the law, Naliwa feels there is another way to resolve the matter than shutting down media houses.
“I would like to express my disappointment to the effect that the ministry is pushing the matter back to MACRA, we urge the ministry to do something immediately,” said Naliwa.
Director of Information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, who led a team of officials from the ministry during the meeting, told us MACRA has the mandate to act on non-compliant media houses when it comes to broadcasting license fees.
He however said the ministry will engage the regulator and other stakeholders to reach a win-win situation.
“The issue of us being slow is not true. We are going to address all those issues, and will soon hold an interface meeting with MACRA, Media Council of Malawi, MISA Malawi and Malawi Human Rights Commission to discuss this,” he insisted.
Different stakeholders, including Media Council of Malawi and Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter, have spoken against broadcasting license revocation, saying this will shrink media space.
At least nine media houses including six radio stations and three television stations have had their broadcasting licenses revoked for non-payment of fees.