GOtv throws spanner in Malawi Digital Migration works

Regulation & Policy

GOtv, a low cost television services launched in Malawi by Multi-Choice Malawi, has thrown a spanner in the process of Malawi's digital broadcasting migration, with government wondering how it is in operational when it has no 'valid' licence.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu said in an interview that he was surprised that the company was operating in Malawi. "What I have on my desk is that GOtv was stopped from rolling out because there are irregularities with its licensing," said Kunkuyu.

He said GOtv surprised government because it came at a time when the team that is overseeing Malawi's digital migration was trying to create a company of GOtv's nature that would be able to host all television stations in the country to be in line with the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting.

The board of Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has since said it is investigating GOtv to establish how it ended up operating in Malawi with a questionable license.

The board Chair, Martha Kwataine, said in an interview that it is the board that recommends the issuance of operators' licence and it is therefore incumbent upon the same board to establish what exactly happened.

Malawi is expected to switch to digital broadcasting by December this year although no tangible progress has been registered on the ground, according to the information minister.

The only think Malawi can show at the moment is the drafting of her digital migrations Communication strategy aimed at communicating to the public how it is going. However, this has not been possible because the team responsible is not willing to communicate with the media on how it is faring with the digital migration process.