6 February 2018

Malawi: MCP Complain to Regulator On Mbc Inciting Genocide Through Hate-Filled Programs

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Malawi flag.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has written the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) expressing concern that the tax-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)) is still refusing to open up the airwaves for the opposition parties and that its content is largely biased towards the ruling party.

MCP also complains that the tax-funded station has rolled out propaganda campaign against the opposition by introducing new programme called Sapita Kawiri.

In a letter seen by Nyasa Times dated February 1 2018 by MCP second deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka to Macra director general Godfrey Itaye, the public broadcaster is also airing some programs such as Chinduji, Manifesto Yanu and Ndikati Chete which have been biased .

The party warned that the infamous Rwandan genocide was propelled by the use of the media.

"Radios were airing programmes which were promoting hate against each other," said Mkaka citing a research of Thomas Hauschildit.

"Thus, MBC out to know how hate messages they are trying to promote all in the name of sprucing DPP image would put this nation on fire," reads the letter.

MCP reminds Macra to keep MBC "in check" as it is legally required to provide unbiased coverage to all parties because it is run on tax payers' money.

Mkaka said they have reported the matter to the regulator in the spirit of being "preventive and progressive".

MCP reminded Macra that it has summoned Zodiak and Times media houses "when there were complaints."

"We look forward to your expeditious and adequate action," reads the MCP letter to Macra.

Media expert Lowani Mtonga told Nyasa Times that the battle to free MBC needs practical action.

"The lack of editorial independence and opening up of MBC airwaves is against the spirit of Communications Act and the Constitution. The Communications Act clearly spells out under Section 87 of the public mandate of MBC to operate without any bias or serve any political interests.

"Secondly, MBC ignores the Constitution which categorically states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression and that the media has the right to publish freely. This entails MBC to be neutral and serve public interests regardless of people's political views," Mtonga argued.

He said MBC as a public broadcaster is falling short of the mandate as a platform for public discourse.


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