Malawi mobile phone ‘rip-off’: Kapito urges Macra to bite

Local human rights and consumer activist, John Kapito has urged Malawi regulatory Authority (Macra) to take urgent action to tackle overcharging by mobile phone companies.

Kapito said r the country has witnessed mobile phone “rip-off” with unjustified increase in tariffs for voice and data services.

Recently, the leading mobile-phone service provider, Airtel Malawi hiked its Blackberry services with
Telekoms Network Malawi (TNM) about to follow suit.

Kapito: Mobile phone companies are overcharging

Kapito: Mobile phone companies are overcharging

Kapito Executive Director for the consumers’ watch-dog, the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) said tariffs offered by the service providers are high comparing to other countries within the region.

“It is has been noted that the actual usage of mobile services in Malawi does not correspond with advertised mobile tariffs, and in most cases consumers have been forced to pay for poor services which include drop-calls,  intermittent internet service and increased service outages,” Kapito lamented.

Kapito said the higher tariffs are abusive and discriminatory and are affecting the growth of mobile service sector, and also affecting the economic and social rights of many Malawians.

“We are, therefore, requesting the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to play its key role to ensure that mobile service providers are not taking advantage of the poor Malawians.

“We expect such information from the regulator to be communicated to consumers on continuous basis as and when tariffs are unfairly increased, and as and when consumers continue to experience continued poor delivery of service,” said Kapito.

He argued that affordable mobile service tariffs would increase the volume of subscribers in a country where less than 4 million of the 15 million people do have access to mobile-phones.

Mobile service in Malawi is now not only limited to voice and data, but it is also intended for financial inclusion where both rich and poor Malawians are now able to use mobile service technology to bank money, to send money, to pay for bills and any other related financial

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22 thoughts on “Malawi mobile phone ‘rip-off’: Kapito urges Macra to bite”

  1. Nyaliki says:

    MACRA is a very weak organisation. With the new CEO, it is EVEN WORSE. People who work in regulatory bodies MUST be strong to stand undue influence from the operators. Do u think Kumabatira can say anything against Chikaonda? Moreover, does he understand the telecommunications sector?

  2. dumerangi says:

    Big up kapito i salute you

  3. Khuth'upa o'Machemba says:

    The phone service in our country must be close to being the worst if not the worst if not the worst in the world. In terms of poor service (e.g. dropped calls) and the charges (vis a vis average income of users). Macra, the toothless dog, should do something about this. Or, will APM push Macra on this, to show that he is truly a man of the people?
    Kapito continues to fight for us consumers; fighting without fear! Just the kind of fighter we need on behalf of consumers in this country. A ranger against the legendary pathetic service we live with every day in the banking industry, at ESCOM, the water boards, etc. We are sick of this!

  4. Good Citizen says:

    #11,Airtel sponsors netball….I lyke the idea of giving Licence to foreign campanies…MTN, VODACOM….I know mumakhomela kuopa akuchosani mu bizness with ur poor services

  5. cbk says:

    zonsezi mtl tulo kwambili

  6. eye eye says:


  7. The best option is to hold Demonstrations and force these thieves to relent. They are able to organise expensive promotions of K50 Million to one person and yet they hike the tariffs to poor Malawians.

  8. Mute Gama says:

    Airtel has decreased its so called bonuses from, for example, 200% to 15%. WATCH after you top un a considerable sum Airtel tells you have received so much free minutes Airtel to Airtel. BUT that is a lie, they charge you a minimum of K10 per connection. These crooks, why lie?

  9. Nyani Galakunzwani says:

    No. 2 ukunena zoona. Bwanji MACRA simapereka licence ku ma operators ena monga MTN, Vodacom? Kapena tiziti mukudziwapo kanthu kapena nanunso mukudyera mmomo? Tiuzeni zoona a MACRA

  10. ovilera says:

    We need atleast 5 companies,so that competition should improve services. People should have a wide choice

  11. dexes says:

    Airtel started well but now its reaping off poor malawians and macra is phwii just waiting for kapito to tell you dont you realise you corrupt guyz?Tnm sponsors super leaguea what do you do to this nation apart from stealing from us ?Chase these people or else tell them what to do i mean as government revisit your MOU wth this company if does not comply then let them go. They are draining us> This is important coz we are regretting for having you here in malawi.

  12. Zadziwika says:

    Airtel ndi YAKUBA heavy, ask me, I left buying airtel units since January 2014 after realising that i was dealing with thieves. I just use the sim to receive calls. Airtel must GO! Malawians DON”T need this company. TNM is better.

  13. Dowa Boy says:

    Awa mukuti a Airtel ndi anthu akuba kwambiri, they take advantage of the uneducated rural masses as they are mostlty in the village, akuwabela anthu osauka, just a hallo! your money is gone, azipita kwao or they must change.

  14. chiko says:

    TNM have fair rates but must improve on network strength in rural areas. Most areas have weak reception.

  15. chiko says:

    Airtel r the biggest thieves. This times, they attach useless messages to every balance check you do. These messages invite customers to do this and that eg Get bible quotes, BBC news etc at K70/week but when you make the mistake of trying to do that, they charge per message and not per week or worse still, they deduct more money per sms than advertized as long as you have airtime. Akagwere uko.Idiots.

  16. Boss says:

    at least TNM understand our financial limitation as compared with Airtel who overcharge on everything even internet ,and I wonder what these people you call they are educated like Mtumbuka’s but they are doing nothing at board meeting they just leave what ever decision they are making without objecting. This is a day lobbery what you are doing guys and now most of the people have switched to TNM because most of us have two 2 to 3 lines.If you continue behaving like this you will loose business. Once more thanks to TNM for considering us.

  17. Mwananjovu says:

    Airtel ndi vindele vakufwikapo. Mbava zenizeni. You buy K1000 airtime and just made 2 calls kupezeka kuti yatha koma kanthawi kochepa. May be I should try TNM. mxiiiiiiiii

  18. Mo says:

    Very true. Without bias, Airtel is the main culprit. biggest thief. And it is also disturbing to receive a message at dead of the night only to find it’s an advert from Airtel. Sometimes it’s even voice recorded call.

  19. Nkhondomukaya says:

    Air tel izipita ndi akuba kwambiri.Zinaba mavoti izi.

  20. United Party says:

    Yesterday I bought an Airtel recharge voucher. I called a number and it was out of reach. Never called any number after that. When I checked that balance, it was all gone. I am not surprised that this company Airtel is reporting huge profits every year despite spending huge on promotions. Promotions that seem never to end. It is the more reason we need the spy machine to monitor this company. I am sure when they know they are about to be cornered, they will sell this company yet again.

    I wish MACRA was able to grant licences to giant mobile operators such as MTN, Vodacom or Orange. This will bring meaningful competition and the consumer will be the ultimate winner. But what do we see, whether politics played a part or not we see licences being granted to some companies that are failing to roll out in the name of Gain and Celcom.

    1. Wona says:

      Very true. Why giving a licence to such start ups like Celcom and G-Mobile, when our fellow countries in Africa are enjoying great innovations from multi-national companies like MTN! VODACOM and Orange

  21. Makumba says:

    More especially the mentioned Airtel company they are great thieves on our land. Will macra wait for Kapito’ statement to react? May be the bosses are also the share holders of these selfish companies?

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