Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has shown open defiance to court by not complying with an order it earlier issued, requiring the communications regulator to allow its deputy director general Francis Bisika remain employed.
Last week High Court judge Jack N’riva ruled that Macra allow Bisika back to work within 72 hours failing which three top officials; director general Godfrey Redson Itaye, former board chair Mevis Mangulenje and Legal Director Dan Chiwoni would be jailed for being in contempt of court.
At the expiry of the 72 hour deadline, Bisika’s lawyer Chance Gondwe on Tuesday wrote new Macra board chair Reverend Alex Maulana reminding him of the court order.
Gondwe warned that should Macra under the new board chair ignored the ruling, he would be in contempt of court and face jail too.
Reverend Maulana refused to comment but confirmed having received the reminder.
Bisika reported for duties on Wednesday but his office was locked.
According to Zodiak radio, he spent time at reception as Chiwoni locked himself in the office not interested to attend to Bisika.
Bisika, whose renewed contract was withdrawn in November last year, obtained a court injunction which allowed him to continue working, but Macra defied the order after it prevented him from carrying on with his work.
Macra boss Itaye instead said from Lilongwe that the court is just wasting its time.
The ‘untouchable’ Itaye has even challenged that the corruption investigation will not get anywhere.
“Once this is over, I will deal with those orchestrating the stories in the media decisively’,” said Itaye on the sidelines of an International conference on Communications Statistics in Lilongwe.
He has since ordered the removal of Director of Broadcasting Fegus Lipenga as a signatory to Macra’s financial transactions.
Itaye made himself a signatory, a move which Finance experts said was normal, but in the case of Itaye is fishy and suspicious considering that Macra boss is under intensive investigation by the Anti Corruption Bureau and a Foresnsic audit to get to the root of the rot of stinking corruption.
In an email circulated to general staff, Lipenga advises that he has indeed been removed as a signatory and all commercial banks have indeed been duely advised.
On Wednesday Itaye’s handpicked well-known ruling DPP Cadet McDonald Pato Poya started work at Macra as Administration Manager, replacing Dalitso Jumbe who was demoted and fired by Itaye for allegedly blowing the impending arrest of procurement manager Aitone Chandiyamgana.
Meanwhile, CSOs have slated April 29 to hold mass demonstrations against Macra for its defiance and selective regulation of the broadcasting landscape, in which it chooses to bury its head in the sand as MBC arrogantly breaks the code of conduct for broadcasters.
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