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Is MultiChoice Africa operating Illegally in Malawi by virtue of being unlicensed?

By Burnett Munthali

Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) in Friday 25 August 2023 submitted before the High Court in Lilongwe that despite MultiChoice Malawi (MCM) not having the physical infrastructure to provide DSTV services in the country, the law provides that as long as the content is being made available to viewers, a service is being provided.

In his testimony on Friday, director of telecommunications at Macra Edward Kauka argued that the licence regime does not look at the kind of technology being used whether through satellite or fibre but what matters is whether subscribers are accessing content.

Kauka further informed the court that the MCM licence which is a Subscription Management Service ( SMS) is the same as that of MultiChoice Africa (MCA) which is a Subscription Broadcasting Service Provider.

Said Kauka: ” The same can be brought through internet without any physical infrastructure. It is just a means of broadcasting or accessing content.”

But in his closing arguments, one of the lawyers for MCM Wapona Kita urged the court to restrict itself to the language used in the licence that was granted to MCM and not the assumptions and interpretations of witnesses.

He added that there is no evidence that the claimant adjusted the tariffs as MCM licence does not provide for that.

Multichoice Malawi office

Said Kita: “This is a judicial review proceeding and the duty of the court is to review the decision-making process of the determination which was made by the board of Macra.”

Both the claimant and defendant also want the court to make a ruling on whether MCA was operating illegally in the country by virtue of not having a licence.

Meanwhile, Judge William Yakuwawa Msiska has given both parties 14 days to make their written submissions and that a judgment date will be advised.

Source: The Nation

Burnett Munthali
Burnett Munthali
Burnett Munthali is a Maravipost Political analyst (also known as political scientists) he covers Malawi political systems, how they originated, developed, and operate. he researches and analyzes the Malawi and Regional governments, political ideas, policies, political trends, and foreign relations.
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