HomeBusinessMACRA has fined a Private Radio Station US$1250 for breaching Broadcasting licence...

MACRA has fined a Private Radio Station US$1250 for breaching Broadcasting licence conditions

Kamlepo kalua
Outspoken Malawi Politician Kamlepo kalua

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) has fined the country’s private owned Zodiak Broadcasting Corporation (ZBS) with US$1250 (MK894,000) for non-compliance with the terms and conditions of its licence and Communication Act. 

Macra confirms the findings published on November 1, 2016 on breach of licence terms and conditions and the Communication Act by ZBS.

 The verdict comes following the August interview the station had with Chitipa East lawmaker Kamlepo Kalua who according to Macra digressed and alleged that former and late President Bingu wa Mutharika (and Democratic Progressive Party administration) killed a Malawi Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa, United Democratic Front (UDF) regime under Bakili Muluzi also murdered Evison Matafale.


In a press release issued on Tuesday, December 13, and gazetted on December 9, 2016 made available to The Maravi Post, the body fault the radio for failing to comply with code of conduct for broadcast contained in the Third Schedule to the Communication Act.


Macra’s assessment on MP Kalua’s allegations was found not true arguing that had potential of inciting supporters of political parties mentioned and other member of the general public to violence.


The communication regulatory body therefore found the broadcast by Zodiak to be in breach of its broadcasting licence and the Communication Act.


Macra has accused the station for failing to give an opportunity to political parties responding Kamlepo’s allegations within a reasonable time and in substantially the same time slot of the original broadcast.


The body further worried with the radio’s manner of breaching Section 2 of the Code of Conduct that requires broadcasters not to put on air any material likely to prejudice public order or tranquility in the case of Chasowa and Matafale that are politically sensitive matters.


“In the Authority’s assessment, the allegations by Hon. Kamlepo Kalua which so far have not been proven to be true had the potential of inciting supporters of political parties mentioned as such Zodiak breached Section 2 of the Code.


“Section 4 of the Code of Conduct also gives broadcasters the right to comment on and criticize any action of public importance. The comment however must be an honest expression of opinion which Authority Hon Kalua statements were proven not be true and that further made against a deceased person who could not defend themselves hence the station breached again section 2 of the Code.


“Pursuant to Section 54 (5) of the Communications, the Authority hereby imposes on ZBS, a fine of US$1250 which is a quarter of Zodiak’s annual licence fees. Further, Zodiak is thereby warned on its conduct and directed to desist from any further non-compliance with the terms and conditions of its licence and the Communications Act”, concludes Macra’s verdict.


There was no immediate reaction from Zodiak’s management on the fines charged as whether will comply the order or seek legal intervention on the matter.

Lloyd M’bwana
Lloyd M’bwanahttps://www.maravipost.com
I'm a Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resource (LUANAR)'s Environmental Science graduate (Malawi) and UK's ICM Journalism and Media studies scholar. Also University of Malawi (UNIMA) Library Science Scholar. I have been The Malawi Country Manager and duty editor for the Maravi Post since 2019. My duty editor’s job is to ensure that the news is covered properly, that it is delivered on time, and that it is created to the standards set out in the editorial guidelines of the Maravi Post.
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