Broadcasters face downgrade of national license if they don’t roll out

The Malawi Communications and Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has warned broadcasters that it will downgrade all that have national licenses, but do not reach all parts of the country.

MACRA Board member, Stella Chuthi, sounded the warning during a Central Region broadcasters’ training on financial management and corporate governance.

MACRA Board member Stella Chuthi

“The authority is currently cleaning up its license register in line with the spectrum usage to ensure that broadcasters are given licenses  in line with their transmission site, ” she said.

Chuthi said broadcasters should roll out in line with their categories of their licences.

It is unreasonable for a broadcaster to pay the authority $5000 for a national licence but only to reach out in a few areas instead of $3000 for a regional license, Chuthi observed.

In addition, she said, lack of financial principles has put most broadcasters at the risk of ignoring payment of licence fees to the authority.

Officials from MACRA during the training of broadcasters

According to Chuthi, as part of a technical audit, the body requested broadcasters to submit financial statements to assess their performance.

 She observed that most do not produce them due to lack of skills hence the training to impart financial skills so that they don’t struggle to pay their license fees.

Bembeke Community Radio Projects and Business Manager, Michael Namalomba, said most community radio stations struggle in financial management because of lack of skills in the area.

“This training will be very important to us in managing the finances,” he said.

Namalomba said most community radio stations employ unskilled personnel to manage their finances.

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