MACRA  wants to ban ‘Hot Current’ truth telling show on Times TV: Malawi regulator summons Kasakula, Brian Banda

Broadcasting regulators, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra)  plans to ban media giant Times Group from  showing on Times TV  a television talk show ‘Hot Current’ on Times TV which is gaining popularity in Malawi as following the ‘truth telling’ discussion which is hosted by marverick broadcaster Brian Banda.

The program which is featuring Times Group Editor-in-Chief George Kasakula is showing brave and substantive journalistic endeavours (often at great personal risk) and discussing matters of current which are hitting headlines, taking government into task on accountability and corruption.

Macra has since summoned Kasakula and Banda  as they stand  accused of describing President Peter Mutharika of practising nepotism during the recent program.

“The Authority has made a preminary finding that your Hot Current Programm titled ‘The role of people in making the change we need broadcast on 3rd March, 2017 did not comply wth Section 5 (1) of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasting Services contained in the Third Schedule to the Commjunications Act 1998,” Macra Director General Godfrey Itaye  said in a letter to Times TV Station manager seen by Nyasa Times.

Brian Banda and George Kasakura: Hot Current presenters on Times TV

Itaye said the said section  stipulates that when presenting a program in which controversial issues of public importace are discussed,  they TV or Radio should make “reasonable efforts” to present differing points of view in the same programme or in a subsequent program within a reasonable period of  time and in substantially the same time slot.

Macra said the ‘Hot Current’ program of 3 Mrach 2017, the presenters Kasakula and Banda made “statement and allagenations of nepotism against the President” and member of his administration.

Reads the letter in part: “ Nepotism and corruption in public office are matter of public interest and you were under an obligation to make reasonable efforts to present points of view on the issues raised.”

The Authority observed that Times TV did not and have not “presented alternative viewd on the matterd, particularly from those alleged to engage in nepotisim and corruption.”

Macra says this was a “failure” to comply with the Times Media obligations under the Code of Conduct for broadcasting service.

Times Group is yet to comment on the matter but the oldest and biggest media group’s relationship with government has always been rocky and icy.

Macra has time and again issued Times Group with threats whilst Malawi Revenue Authority has in the past closed down the media house on pretext of failure to remit tax, a charge denied by the company managing director Leonard Chikadya who has depended on the courts to open the media house.

Brian Banda took it to social media to  comment when he posted on his Facebook page:  “In the effort of proving his relevance at Macra as Director General , Mr Itaye is actually de-campaigning this government with his threats on independent media.I hope someone in government is watching!#freepressisvital.”

Kasakula is also attracting wrath of those wielding power recklessly, even criminally, with complete impunity and unaccountability as he is putting them on spot with his no holds barred critique.

The  program is also shared on YouTube.

Kasakura , who is also columnist in Malawi News,  argued that nepotism looks like the government norm.

He urged Malawians not to let mediocrity take charge.

“We need to demand better form our government, this is our government. They rule on our trust. Malawians lets wake up and demand better from our government,” Kasakura said.

Malawi government spokesman Nicholous Dausi said discussions on ‘Hot Current’ Times TV program are “unnecessary irritation”.

“I choose to ignore listening to their gurgling,” said Dausi

He said Kasakura seemed almost emotional in his contributions.

But Times are proving that they aren’t the kind of journalists that go around repeating what the government , they are demonstrating the kind of journalists that believe the way you hold power accountable is by reporting what the truth actually is.


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5 years ago

Kasakula ndi Brian ndi Achewa otumidwa ndi Chakwera. Brian amayenda ndi ma badge a PP mthumba. We know who is paying you brats.
Tikukusiyani dala, don’t think you are clever mafana.

We know your homes, bedroom, toilet, location, your mother, where your children learn, where your wives are found.
Just wait!!!!

Yusuf Sambo
5 years ago

Hot current is the hottest programme on the land, is the only programme i don’t miss no matter what, ngakhale a ESCOM akathimitsa magesi i always call my friends before time to find out where i can go and watch this programme, MACRA plz! plz! spare Times TV and HOT CURRENT, Mr Itaye, you are there today but you will never be there tomorrow so be careful, a lot has been spoken about you and the nation all eyes are on you, if you are getting orders from somewhere you better just resign that can do you more good than… Read more »

5 years ago

koma zoona Itaye ndi macra management kumakambilana zothetsa programme imeneyi? Mwangodana naye Brian ine Phillip mukundisiya bwanji kuno ku MBC? Pena pake mukupangatu zowonetsera ndidzavutika nazo izi boma likadzasintha. Kunonso ku MBC chonde mudzisuzumulako. Komanso bwana Itaye mudyeretu zanu mudzanya nazo izi ndithu. Anthu akuwonatu.

phalombe east
5 years ago

Alomwe, are you not ashamed of what you’re doing to Malawians? Does MBC balance its news, always castigating oppositions? WHY can’t you caution Phillip Business first, Mizwanya, parading chieves on MBC TV ? Mipando yonse yonona yapita ku alomwe anthu anzeru ndi a lomwe basi? Koma choti mudziwe ndi ichi: pangatalike bwanji zinthu zidzasintha basi…………….a few people kuzunza dziko lonse…………………………………….

Stupid MP's
Stupid MP's
5 years ago

i LOVE hot current. If Macra wants to ban the program, then they should start with Mizwanya on MBC. Malawi i our country and we will not be dictated by you stupid mutharika boss. Itaye said the said section stipulates that when presenting a program in which controversial issues of public importace are discussed, they TV or Radio should make “reasonable efforts” to present differing points of view in the same programme or in a subsequent program within a reasonable period of time and in substantially the same time slot. – See more at:

Agatha Kunje
Agatha Kunje
5 years ago

To Brian Banda thank you being brave, this country is too small for you. You represent all of us. May God bless you young man. To bwana Kasakula you are the only sober voice that we have in this country. we cant thank you enough. To Times TV managemnt, valani dzilimbe, stand with your boys. Kwatsala pang’ono kucha.

Brova Brian Banda, Bravo George Kasakula Respect to Times TV!

Richard Soko
Richard Soko
5 years ago

Itaye where do you come from that you do not see nepotism in this govt. Have you not watched Chindunji by Phillip Business at MBC?
Why not ban that program?

5 years ago

We often see hoodlums, Chiefs etc being paraded on MBC TV castigating opposition leaders, particularly MCP President and we do not hear or see any ‘reasonable effort by MBC presenting differing points of view in the same programme or at least subsequent programmes within a reasonable period of time’. So, Mr. Mcra boss, is it only private media houses you are targeting? Why is it mostly Lhomwes, Mulakhos, Southerners, DPP relations etc occupying lucrative positions in Government, Parastatals, embassies and the like? Be fair sir and mete the same punishment to MBC. They are a shame to Malawi.

5 years ago

Kkkkkk,wow,kwa anthu ozindikira amaonera TIMES & ZODIAK kuti ave chilungamo.HOT CURRENT ndi program ya nyatwa tisanamepo apa,ndipo zomwe amayankhula ndizokha zokha zoona apa.koma ine ndimangochitika mwayi kuyipezerera pa TIMES’PO guys,kodi hot current imakhalapo masiku ake oti?is it Friday? Help guys do wanna miss it.

Generation of vipers
Generation of vipers
5 years ago

Macra is too infested with mulakhonfleas hence acting like that

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