Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) has said the decision by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) to fine it $1 250 (about K930,000) over remarks Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament vice-chairperson Kamlepo Kalua made during an interview with the radio, is unfair.
Macra director-general Godfrey Itaye summoned management of the radio station to a meeting on August 24 2016 in Blantyre after the interview.
In the interview that ZBS aired, Kalua, who is also third vice-president of opposition People’s Party (PP), made allegations that the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants to start shedding blood, purportedly, of people deemed to be attacking or opposing government.
Kalua alleged in the interview that the DPP regime killed student Robert Chasowa, United Democratic Front (UDF) regime killed musician Evison Matafale and Fanikiso Phiri, another student and that DPP wants to shed blood again.
Chasowa, a University of Malawi The Polytechnic third year engineering student and political activist, was found dead at the college campus in September 2011, Matafale died in November 2001 under police custody after he had written a letter attacking the Bakili Muluzi regime, while Phiri was fatally shot by police following students’ riots at Chancellor College in December 2001.
Investigations were established for all the three deaths, but no logical conclusion has been reached yet.
The regulator faulted Zodiac for being in contravention with the Communications Act.
But the radio’s managing director Gospel Kazako maintained that his media house conducted themselves in an ethical and professional manner and balanced with the accused parties to have their say on the accusations.
Kazako said Macra’s has released the verdict “without making all the evidence, including what we submitted to them, known to the public.”
The regulatory body has not summonned tax-payer funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)which has broadcast interviews from ruling DPP officials dressing down opposition politicians without hearing the latter’s side.