Malawi phone-in programmes to resume as court lifts ban: ‘Macra erred’

The High Court in Lilongwe  on Wednesday lifted the  ban Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) on phone-in programmes  giving leeway to  broadcasters to  resume the shows on their airwaves.

Itaye: Macra erred

Macra effected the ban on June 7 following Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) one million march held in the country’s cities to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to step down for allegedly mismanaging the May 21 presidential poll results.

The demonstrations were covered live by several radio stations, with some giving an opportunity to listeners to make phone calls to give their views on the issue.

Macra director general Godfrey Itaye accused  some broadcasters of  indulging in careless and unethical coverage of post-election events which has potential to incite the masses into violence.

But Media Institute in Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter  sought court’s relief on the ban of phone-in radio programmes, arguing that the suspension is an infringement of freedom of expression and may lead to loss of revenue for broadcasters.

Delivering the ruling, High Court judge Ruth Chinangwa said she granted an injunction to Misa-Malawi because Macra erred in issuing a blanket ban which itpointed out violates rights of the broadcasters.

The judge said the court was yet to ascertain whether broadcasters indeed violated the terms of their licences as alleged by Macra.

Misa-Malawi and a number of radio stations that include Times Radio, Zodiak Broadcasting Station and Capital Radio sought  for the court relief..

Misa-Malawi chairperson Teresa Ndanga hailed the court determination as  “victory for freedom of expression.”

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Tuvitwana
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Tuvitwana

ITAYE, CADET WAGWA NAYO

Mandado@147
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And sue MBC for propaganda too! Dont be sleeping

Mbwiyache
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Mbwiyache

That’s good development, we want also times talk on times radio back I like that program. Anyone with times telephone number can share with me please

MWANA WA MULUNGU
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MWANA WA MULUNGU

This is a biased institution thats why they are failing to be ethical. Let the journalists do their job.