Revise Subscription Fees; Govt Tells Multichoice

Kazako Kazako - pic by Happy Njalam'mano

Government has called on Multichoice Malawi to revise subscription fees and work on its bouquets.

Information minister, Gospel Kazako, says it is sad that Malawians dig deeper into their pockets than their friends in other countries to access television services.

“We would want as many people as possible to access good television but the challenge is how much they pay. I also took advantage to ask them to review their bouquets probably if they can consider reworking based on requests.

“Sometimes you are loaded with forty channels; you don’t need forty channels. Probably what you need are four or five channels. They should be able to consider charging based on what one wants to be viewing,” he said.

Multichoice Malawi Managing Director, Gus Banda, told the minister who visited the company in Blantyre on Wednesday that the high cost is due to high taxes.

“You will find that we are one of the highest countries as far as tax brackets are concerned in terms of service provision. This makes it very difficult in terms of just keeping the cost down.

The minister also had an interaction with internet service providers (ISPs) on how to revamp ICT services in the country.

He commended the ISPs on their role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing E-Learning, scrapping of mobile money transaction fee and donation of Personal Protective Equipment to frontline workers as examples.

However, Kazako urged the provider to desist from employing too many expatriates, saying “this country will not be developed by the hands of foreigners.

“Malawians are pushed out of the country to other countries because their space is taken up by foreigners. We want to reclaim that and we will do that quickly.”

Chief Technical Officer for Inq Digital Limited, formerly Sky Band Corporation, Limbika Kanjadza, said that the interaction with the minister “will help to ensure that people in the country are accessing better internet services.”

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