Hands off Malawi Broadcasting Corp, pass information bill -CSOs

Civil society organisation has called for a free and open Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) in a petition presented on Tuesday during the anti-government protests in Lilongwe.

Mtambo presenting the petition to Hara

Mtambo presenting the petition to Hara

Mtambo speaking during the demo

Mtambo speaking during the demo

The rights campaigners accused government over the use of the public radio station and television, saying they were not operating as national broadcaster but  propaganda stations for the ruling party.

“Malawians are concerned with the continued politicization of the state-media especially Malawi Broadcasting Corporation which continues to be a sole mouthpiece of the ruling party, and has often been used as a vessel to unleash attacks/propaganda of any critical voice,” reads the petition which was presented to President Mutharika through Lilongwe Chief Executive Richard Hara.

The CSOs condemned government for “parading of chiefs, vendors on state media to attack critical voices of the regime”, saying that “should be stopped.”

The activists asked government not to interfere with MBC editorial independence,  condemning he continued   political interference and even censorship in the field of state TV and radio broadcasting as unacceptable and retrogressive.

British High Commissioner Michael Nevin  is also on record  saying that every administration has wanted to control MBC to stop divergent views from being aired.

“I know that the journalists, the editors and senior managers at MBC are professional and they need to be left alone to do their job professionally. That is not only a democratic principle but it makes commercial sense because if MBC concentrate on announcing one-sided issues, they will lose listenership for the radio and viewership for the TV,” Nevin is on record saying.

MBC gets subvention from the national purse where every Malawian who pays tax contributes. Many commentators say it is worrisome to deny the taxpayer an opportunity of accessing public resources.

University of Malawi’s constitutional lawyer Associate Professor Edge Kanyongolo argued that MBC is required by law to open up to all political parties not only during elections but all times.

It has always been argued that the freedom of the state media broadcasting is based on the right guaranteed by the constitution and in conformity with which individuals can search, receive, prepare, pass and spread information legally.

There have been growing calls for the state broadcaster to be transformed into independent institutions of public broadcasting whose mandate will be to serve public interest and not partisan political interests of those in power.

Meanwhile, the civil society groups have also pointed out that the Mutharika government is “equally only rhetorically committed” to passing the Access to Information Bill.

“Malawians observe that the enactment of access to information law is taking unnecessarily too long,” CSOs noted.

They  reminded government  that Access to Information Bill is a Constitutional provision which can only be exercised upon its enactment.

According to CSOs the Bill will help “inculcating the culture of transparency and accountability in public finance” and the nation at large which will also contribute in our fight against evil act such as fraud, corruption, rooting and plundering of resources.

The Malawi Cabinet in February 2014 approved an access to information policy, setting the stage for introduction of ATI legislation.

Minister of Information and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa said he will soon present an access to information bill to parliament.

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30 thoughts on “Hands off Malawi Broadcasting Corp, pass information bill -CSOs”

  1. MBC is for informing ,educating and entertaining people not for coverage of CSO meeting if they want they can hire MBC and pay for the services provided only if the coverage does not bring war as what happened in Rwanda

  2. By then,the CSO were JB and PP militants ,they just want to destabilize the ruling party. they should shut up their mouth

  3. Gona n'kuphe sali patali says:

    Even a blind and deaf person acknowledges that indeed MBC is a trush so its surprising dat u pipo can’t see dis. Wake up dis country belongs even 2 ur kids who by de tym vei hav grown up ndale sizizakhala zokomera inu muzalira kuti pyoooo!

  4. The Truthful One from the West says:

    On MBC I AGREE WITH CSOs. IT IS HOPELESSLY PARTISAN TOWADS DPP. It is disgusting.

  5. phodogoma says:

    My fellow dear contributors open your eyes, JB did not open MBC to the public. It was an influence of Mbendera who issued a directive that MBC should be open to alll during campaigns. Of course Mbendera did it because he was abig man was playing his cards quiet well. What did you see on 20 th May 2014? Did it work against the wish of the Mbendera and APM? OPON YOUR EYES AND SEE FAR FAR AWAY. It was a game. Refer to news papers of those days and remind yourself what did Mbendera say about MBC radio and TV. So dont praise the foolish JB. Then sadagwe CHAGADA.

  6. Ngongoliwa says:

    SO CALLED DOMININC, YOU ARE RIGHT ON CASH GATE. BUT WHENEVER YOU THINK OF CASH GATE, DO NOT LEAVE THE K92BN CASH GATE PLUNDERED BY YOUR DPP B4 THE K13BN PLUNDERED DURING THE JB ADMINISTRATION. I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MENTION NAMES OF DPP IN HOUSE COMPANIES WHICH CASHED HUGE MONEYS WITHOUT SUPPLYING A SINGLE BOTTLE OF INSECTICIDE, YET YOU CONCEAL ALL THIS. NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR JUSTICE TO BE DONE, YOU WILL BE ANSWERABLE NOT VERY LONG FROM NOW. REMEMBER IT TOOK ALMOST A CENTURY FOR UK TO PAY KENYA ON WAR CRIMES

  7. Dominic says:

    Stop taking Malawians for granted – we NOW know you extremely well. Your Logical Frameworks talk of Demonstrations and nothing else. We know if you don’t stage demonstrations yo will not get money from your donors – what a stupid donor. You are all stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Dominic says:

    What do you mean when you say “Malawians are concerned”, who are you talking about? . Possibly you yourself are “Malawians”. Who told you that the issues you have raised concern every Malawian citizen, do you think that your concerns are concerns for every Malawian? Count me out of the list!!!. My main concern is cashgate, which unfortunately is not your concern because you were the Adviser of the Madam JB and benefited much from that. I know Sembereka from A to Z. I have worked with him in Balaka where he established the so called “Maphunziro Foundation”Organization and stole UNICEF money meant for CBCCs. Tell lies to those who do not know you guys but not me. You could have petitioned Parliament on the issue of MBC but NOT MBC or Government itself. Petition your MP to change the MBC Act. Face the issue head on, deal with MBC Act and not Government.
    You missed credibility when you failed to stage demonstrations during Mai JB’s regime on Cashgate. All the demos staged thereafter are useless and meaningless, and that applies to all the CSOs – you are useless and could not be taken seriously. People suffered and continue to suffer heavily due to cashgate, donors have withdrawn from budgetary support because of the same BUT you remained and continue to remain silent on Cashgate- shame on you all.

  9. BECHI says:

    Baseless and naïve do malawians concerned a bout this ? Mavuto anu osamawapasa anthu ena a chete maliro amai Tembo mumaonela pa BBC?

  10. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    DPP ndi chipani cha ma khuluku ndi ma criminals, thus why they don’t wont to let MBC free, akuopa ingawaulule zambiri. I just hope Liabunya’s prophecy will come to pass mwina tingaone zina!

  11. acn says:

    JB was indeed a democrat. Zinazii zikagwere.

  12. koma pitala akuwonjezadi mwamva? mbc tv kodi ndizawo zonsezi?

  13. God Hear Me says:

    Koma atumbuka, achewa, ayao, angonde, atonga, asena, amang’anja, etc etc ndife wopusa kwambiri tonsefe alomwe kumatilamulira? Komanso pachibale pachichimwene. Wamkulu kulamulira kenako wamng’ono mwina 2019 mwana wa Bingu or mwana wa Peter who knows?????????

    Ndiye titani? Basitu ma demo womwewotu mpakana 3030 kkkkkkkkk

    Boalni azathu ayao analamulirako kawiri Muluzi and JB. Achewa at least ngakhale kamuzu anali wa fake komabe anatinamiza kuti anali wa kukasungu…..kkkkkkkkk

    Nanga mitundu inayi makamaka mtundu wangawu Mtumbuka ine ayi ndithu ma demo basi or else federation/secession no turning back kkkkkkkkkk

    Undule = Demonstrations
    Mtambo =Demonstrations
    Shawa = Demonstrations
    Kondowe =Demonstrations
    Trapence =Demonstrations
    Kyungu =Demonstrations
    Ngoma = Demonstrations

    But let me warn you that ngati muzitisankha mitundu mboma ifenso tizikusankhani mma NGO ndi mma campany. Tawuzana kale a Tumbuka tonse No NGO or whatever bungwe should employ NON MTUMBUKA KKKKKKKK

  14. mzimwale says:

    kodi MBC ilipobe?

  15. Gerald says:

    Kaya bola tikukhala ndi moyo anthu aku ma remote areafe

  16. Kalanga says:

    Effects of recycled politicians in a democratic society.

    We are really infested by this unwarranted behavior. Now can we deduce the essence of voting in Malawi.

    Our leaders hear the cry of innocent pple! Remember u wl lose nothing by doing the rt thing! Indeed God wl be delighted by your leadership throughout you reign!

    God bless Malawi!

  17. Mazulu says:

    Jb yekha ndiye anayimasula radio and tv but panopa munthu osamphunzira uyu arbert & maseya akuchita kuwopsa kwa anzawo ndi a director omwe akuchita mantha

  18. william says:

    Nkhaniyo anganya techekuliya amalawi ndimalusu ngakwendese Boma chipani chakulamula asani chatuwa m`boma muvwengi abungwe la MBC tiganthiya chipani ichichatuwa M`boma chatuwa ndingongole K1 trillion tikhozepu pakalusu kajila yaka.

  19. Kenkkk says:

    DPP govt is making Mbc professionals behave like used vendors. Mbc professionals need to go on strike against govt interference. You look very stupid and some of you are very respected and educated professionals.

    Opposition, activists, csos should all have access to Mbc at anytime or whenever they want to express or communicate their views to the people of Malawi. The govt then can Also come along and rebut what the opposition are telling people on the same mbc without monopolizing it. That is true democracy and freedom of speech.

    We don’t want boring one sided propaganda which is killing democracy.

    It is high time that we start doing things differently, the old habits have to change. That is business unusual.

    Another demo on this very important matter is required if the govt thinks it can continue to monopolise mbc when 64% of the people who didn’t vote for DPP pay their taxes for mbc to run.
    The days of ignorance and cheating people are gone.

  20. Stanley says:

    Yes learn to to other countries coz what you are doing is chupiti.

  21. opportunist says:

    As for me i don’t watch MBC tv

  22. BigMan says:

    Barking, barking, barking and barking some more… for nothing!

  23. Kasenye says:

    Adzafuna Kuti Zolakwikazi Zikonzedwe Akadzachoka M’boma. Tiyeni Nazoni. Muwafunse A PP, Pano Akuti Malamulo Oyendetsera Chisankho Sali Bwino Nchifukwa Analuza. Mbwerera Zenizeni Ngati Akuuza Ana!

  24. Wizeman Paul says:

    ZA ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  25. Patriot says:

    JB ndi mtsogoleri yekhayo since 1994 anayiyika MBC kukhala non-partisan.

  26. yonayona says:

    So what?
    Tidzakuwonani nanu ngati mudzapeze mwayi olamulira!
    as 4me ndinazolowela kuti olamulira ndimomwe achitila!

  27. Mwama Du says:

    MBC must be independent at all cost. Dpp imatisautsa kwabasi.

    1. kangali says:

      ndiye mukufuna ma program a boma azikapangila pa Zodiak? mbuzi za anthu.Do you MCP ili ndi mfundo zoti anganene pano? tamangodikirani 2019 to review manifesto. Pano ndi DPP.Even SABC ,BTV pamakhala coverage ya boma.Ukagule free to air mwa JUSAB Mu limbe

  28. atate says:

    Peter during the presidential debate complained about MBC bn biased. Here we are having the same issue they were against at. Can’t u learn from SABC hw they conduct their business. So smart even opposition are given equal coverage. Malawi won’t develop that’s why timamangabe nyumba za zidina mtauni

  29. manyasa says:

    MBC is just Uselesss, Times Tv and Capital Radio are the best.

Comments are closed.