BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—As Kamplepo Kalua and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continues exchanging verbal attacks over the issue of “7 rotten ministers,” Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has summoned private owenedZodiak Broadcasting Service to a disciplinary hearing over an interview it granted to the lawmaker for Rumphi East who is also Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice-chairperson.Zodiak granted Kalua an exclusive interview immediately after Malawi President Peter Mutharika ordered him to submit names of seven serving cabinet ministers implicated in the forensic report as disclosed by Auditor General within 24 hours.
The audit report covering the period 2009 to December 2014 established that about K236 billion—initially K577 billion—in public funds could not be accounted for.
The MACRA letter signed by its Director General, Godffrey Itaye summons Zodiak officials saying the broadcasting station allowed Kalua to make sensitive remarks.
“We write to invite you for a meeting on Wednesday 24 August, 2016 at MACRA premises in Blantyre from 10:00.
“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the interview you conducted with Honourable Kamlepo Kalua which was aired on your radio on 16 August, at 8:00 am. In the interview Kamlepo Kalua alleges that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime killed Chasowa (Robert), United Democratic Front killed Matafale (Evison) and Fanikizo Phiri and that DPP wants to shed blood again,” reads the letter.
“We find the broadcast in contravention with the communications Act and your broadcasting licence as it make unsubstantiated attacks on the two parties without giving them a right of reply as required by the schedule 3 of the of the communication act (Code of conduct for broadcasting),” the letter further reads.
Reacting, MISA Malawi Chairperson, Thom Khanje say MACRA is ordinarily mandated to regulate both radios and Television Stations in Malawi and summoning a station in itself should be no cause for worry.
He has, however, urged MACRA to conduct itself in transparent and accountable manner in order to ensure that they do not divert from their mandate.