The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has issued warnings to Capital FM Radio Limited and Radio Islam for airing programmes it said breached their Licence terms and conditions and section 52 (2) of the Communications Act.
Macra said Capital Radio insulted Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika during their ‘Day break Malawi’ Programme of April 28th, 2011.
In paid full colour adverts published in the local press, Macra Director General Charles Nsaliwa said in the said programme a caller, whom it did not name, insulted Mutharika calling him obscene and indecent names for expelling former British ambassador to Malawi Fergus Cochrane Dyet.
“The warning therefore follows a meeting held at Macra offices on May 4, 2011 where Capital Radio admitted breach of section 52 (2) of the Communications Act,” Nsaliwa said.
While Radio Islam has been warned for denigrating other religious beliefs during their “Tipange Dawa’ Programme of December 4th, 2010.
Nsaliwa does not give further details of the offence but said Macra received a complaint against Radio Islam from a listener in Mangochi.
“They also acknowledged their mistake during a meeting held at Macra offices on February, 3rd, 2011,” he said.
The sections states that: “Broadcasting licensees shall not broadcast any material which is indecent or obscene or offensive to the public morals (including abusive and insulting language) or offensive to the religious convictions of any section of the population or likely to prejudice the safety of the republic or public order or tranquillity”
Macra said section 34 (3) of the communications Act empowers it to ‘whip’ deviant radio stations.