Broadcasters regulator, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has summoned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for hearing over a news bulletin which referred to Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) as terrorist group.
In a letter addressed to MBC’s Director-General Aubrey Sumbuleta, Macra bemoans what it calls dwindling standards at the taxpayers-funded broadcaster.
The letter, dated January 20, 2020 also refers to a broadcast where a guest in a program, in reference to alleged rape cases in Msundwe, described rape as something that is done with consent from the victim.
“MACRA, through its monitoring system, has observed with concern the dwindling standards of your broadcasts within the past days.
“To substantiate the point above, we are in possession of a recording which was extracted from the news bulletin broadcast on 16th January 2020 in which your news reader referred to the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) as gulu la za uchifwamba (terrorist group)”.
MACRA says these statements were abusive and insulting as well as likely to affect public order and tranquility contrary to the communications act.
In a telephone interview, Macra director general Symon Itaye confirmed summoning MBC but said their action is based on their records and not public pressure or complaint from HRDC.
The hearing is scheduled for 09:00 hours on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :