New era indeed. The funeral of President Joyce Banda’s sister was not beamed live on state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBCTV) contrary to what has been happening in the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration.
People at the state broadcaster and Malawians expected that the funeral service will be telecasted live on MBCTV but the President said she did not want to personalise the television, saying she wants it to be truly public broadcaster not for presidential diary.
“I expected to see the whole service live on MBC TV. I was happy to see that the station carried on with their normal programming though the first family was at a funeral,” said Mary Jonasi from Chinyonga in Blantyre.
President Banda lost a sister, Festa, the third born in the Ntila family who died on Sunday at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre after a long battle with diabetes.
In her inaugural state of the nation address as she opened parliament, President Banda announced that her government will loosen grips on MBC as it is set to become a public broadcaster.
In what she described as a dream, Banda declared, “I see opposition leaders on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation TV.
“We have opened up the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation to cover all Malawians including opposition parties and to act as a public broadcaster other than a mouth piece of a ruling party.”
She also announced that her government will repeal a piece of legislation that was meant to oppress the media which was being championed by the late Mutharika.
Banda said such bad law is Section 46 of the Penal Code, which gives the information minister absolute power to ban any publication, which in his or her views would injure the public.