Malawi: Civil Society Organisations Take Legal Action Against Public Broadcaster MBC

20 May 2020

Regulation & Policy

Malawi’s Civil society organisations (CSOs) are reportedly demanding immediate suspension of the provision of broadcasting services by the nation’s public broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for allegedly beaming on its TV foul language against the State Vice President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima in its evening prime news bulletin on Monday.


A private practice lawyer Nicely Msowoya along with the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Youth and Society (YAS) and the Church and Society of the CCAP Livingstonia Synod said that MBC is in breach of its public service obligations under the Communications Act and that it had demonstrated a lack of respect for human rights.


The concerned parties and CSOs have since called to the high-profile lawyer George Jivason Kadzipatike to file a case against the public broadcaster.


Kadzipatike, in a letter penned on the 12th May 2020, and addressed to the MBC Director-General as well as the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), said that his clients were shocked at the vulgar expletives that were broadcast during MBC Television’s news bulletin at 7 pm on 11th May 2020.


He added that his clients had noted that MBC had gone overboard in contravening its statutory duties under the country’s Communications Act.


Kadzipatike said that his clients demand the immediate suspension of MBC’s broadcasting services until such a time that the relevant unprofessional members of staff, including the secretariat and Board, are replaced by competent individuals.


He warned that if MBC TV and radio are not taken off the air by Friday, 15th May 2020, the complainants would immediately file for an order in the High Court to compel MACRA to shut down MBC until the unprofessional members of staff are flushed out and replaced.


Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) said that it would follow up on the issue.

Source: All Africa