Malawi’s private Joy TV says it will register in Zambia as a limited liability company in that country and will beam to Southern Africa without interfering with any frequency dismissing claims by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) that it will be “illegal.”
Lawmaker Atupele Muluzi told The Nation newspaper and Capital Radio’s Daybreak Malawi that his Joy TV company will go for a “free to air broadcasting” services similar to Botswana television which is watched in Malawi.
“Joy TV is going to be registered in Zambia as a Zambian company and will be regulated by Zambian authorities,” Muluzi said.
In a published statement by its director general Charles Nsaliwa, Macra argued establishing a TV in neighbouring Zambia, they still expect Joy TV to seek its approval and authorization in accordance with the powers granted to it by the communications act.
But Muluzi said on the radio that “there was a misunderstanding on the part of Macra.”
He also told The Nation that: “Free to air broadcasting is not regulated, why then should Macra want to regulate Joy TV?”
Atupele, whose family runs Joy Radio, said his company and many other Malawians have been waiting since 2006 to have a TV licence, saying this showed that the country lacks freedom of broadcasting.
“Zambia saw the lack of this freedom and allowed us. This is very serious. We will follow the procedures of whichever country and abide by any law. Freedom of expression cannot be stopped,” he said according to the paper.
Muluzi said Joy TV will be a “Zambian company for the whole region without interfering with any frequency.”
Zambia’s President Micheal Sata promised a licence to Joy TV to operate from Chipata and beam its programmes into Malawi.