MACRA awards Bingu TV licence, no Zodiak

Malawi’s electronic media should brace for more competition following the awarding of broadcasting licences to four TV stations and four radio stations by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra).

The regulator called for applications of TV and radio license application in 2009.

Macra director general Charles Nsaliwa said the four television stations have out-bidden fellow applicants are Galaxy, CAN, ABC and Getway.

Nyasa Timesunderstands that Galaxy has links with President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Kadzako: Still hopeful Zodiak will in future get TV licence

Zodiak Broadcasting Service whose radio station is popular and has mobile television services has not been granted the TV licence. Gospel Kadzako the head of Zodiak is however confident that his station will in future be considered.

Nsaliwa, who said there were 30 applications for TV licences, said Macra considered the “capable applicants” that will roll out their services soon.

He however said the other applicants will be considered in the next phase of review.

Nsaliwa said Macra did not want the scenario in the telecommunications industry where a number of licences have been issued but companies failed to roll out their operations, to occur in electronic media.

Joy TV channel which stopped transmissions in 2007 due to licensing issues in Malawi has also not been considered. But Zambia President Michael Sata granted the TV channel licence to be transmitting via satellite from Chipata in Zambia, which borders Malawi.

“Malawians have been denied access to alternative voice and views within the borders of Malawi. We applied to Zambia and they have offered us a licence to beam into Malawi through satellite,” Atupele Muluzi, son of the former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi, said of his Joy TV.

Currently, Malawi has three licenced television stations, including state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Catholic Church owned Luntha TV and AFJ TV owned by All For Jesus Pentecostal Church.

Meanwhile, the new four radio stations that have been awarded licenses are Galaxy, Mulakho, Maziko and Usisya Community Radio.

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