MACRA warns unlicensed package couriers of K1m fine plus two-year jail term if caught

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) is on a campaign to sensitise the general public that they should make sure the buses and other motorists they use as courier to send parcels and packages to various destinations have a certificate of registration from MACRA.

The campaign was rolled out at Wenela Bus Depot in Blantyre on Tuesday that was spiced by a live band performance by popular artist Fugie Kasipa of the ‘Dale Wangayo’ fame — that attracted a curious huge crowd.

It was also an opportunity for MACRA to warn bus operators — and other motorists that illegally transport people on long distances — that if found delivering packages and parcels without a licence are liable to a fine of K1 million plus a maximum jail term of two years.

The police officer who attested that it is illegal to carry out unlicensed courier service

MACRA also involved the Malawi Police Service, who attested that it is illegal to carry out courier services while advising the gathering that if they detect anyone doing so should report to the police or MACRA.

The gathering were appraised of the various licensed courier operators while encouraging all interested bus operators and other motorists to register with MACRA first at their head office at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre.

MACRA’s Communication Manager, Zadziko Mankhambo said the regulator has discovered that illegal courier services by bus operators and other long distance taxi operators is rampant — thus their decision to warn the public that courier service is very sensitive.

The public is being encouraged to use operators who prove they are licensed by MACRA because if they use illegal means — and their packages and parcels get lost or stolen — they have no means to be compensated.

“But if the packages are sent through registered couriers, MACRA can assist that they should be compensated,” he said. “We are doing this to protect people who might not be aware that courier services is a sensitive matter.

“MACRA is mandated by the Communications Act that — on top of regulating broadcasters and mobile phone service providers — we have to regulate the postal services.”

He added that there have been many cases where packages and parcels got lost — even by registered couriers where MACRA intervened — but those who disappeared with valuable packages were never traced, thus not been able to assist in having the victims compensated.

He stressed that the punishments for illegal courier services is not an option but K1m fine plus a two-year jail term.

The activity was spiced by one of Fugie Kasipa’s band members, who enticed the gathering to question and answer sessions over presentations made by MACRA officials and the police that when they answered correctly were presented with gifts of MACRA-branded T-shirts, caps and executive pens.

This was to create an interactive atmosphere that also included encouraging the gathering to get vaccinated of CoVID-19 though a mobile clinic that had parked right at the venue.

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