Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has summoned privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) for airing ad advert from the civil society organisations (CSOs) organising the April 27 nationwide protests to petition President Peter Mutharika and his administration on governance shortcomings.
The advert is inviting people to join the demonstrations which will be held in Karonga, Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zomba.
Macra director-general Godfrey Itaye summing the radio station as another doctored clip which calls on people to carry out destructive demonstrations.
Zodiak proprietor Gospel Kazako confirmed Macra has summoned the broadcaster this Friday.
“We stand accused of breaching some schedules of our license in airing that [CSOs] advert. So, we will be there to defend ourselves,” said Kazako.
But CSOs have said their street protests will be “peaceful” and that they have agreed to work with police to ensure the same.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) boss Timothy Mtambo, who is also chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Forum coordinating the protests, said “evil minded people” were behind the doctored promotion against the CSOs message of peace.
The CSOs have requested the police to investigate the doctored clip and bring culprits to book.
Police also invited organisers of the protests to discuss about the promotion material.
One of the conveners of the demos, Gift Trapence, who is executive director of Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), said they were not taking a softer line on the issue and nothing will obstruct them from proceeding.
The CSOs want Cabinet ministers Goodal Gondwe (Finance, Economic Planning and Development) and Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government and Rural Development), to voluntarily step down or the President should fire them for their roles in the K4 billion financial transaction and an annulment of the entire arrangement. The two ministers have insisted they did nothing wrong.
Trapence said there are other issues such as deterioration of basic services like blackouts, high rate of unemployment and the general decay of the state of governance.
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