Minister of Information Gospel Kazako has said Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) also needs to be sanitised, querying how the organisaton which was branded ‘cash cow’ of the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime could be spending K1 billion monthly on operations.
Kazako said this after his familisation tour of the institution on Monday.
He said Macra has been funding “undeserving activities” including bankrolling political operations of the DPP.
Nyasa Times has been consistently writing about the stinking rot at Macra, especially when Godfrey Itaye was heading the organisation.
Minister Kazako said the new Tonse Alliance administration will seal all the loopholes that may have to do with the abuse of funds and end the “well-coordinated” looting system.
He warned there will be changes coming with a functional and structural review to appoint people on merit and that will come with “casualties.”
Kazako also asked the institution to see to it that mobile data charges are reduced for them to be affordable for consumers.
He gave an example of neighbouring Tanzania where mobile data is bought at 4 cents per second while Malawians are charged 80 cents per second.
The minister added that it is unfair for telecom operators in the country to charge poor Malawians exorbitantly on internet services saying the government will put Malawians first in all aspects of development.
“Data is a big problem in this country. To own a phone is like a crime. In Tanzania people are paying 4 cents while in Malawi people are paying 80 cents and we have companies that are celebrating that they have made over 550% profits.
“Data must go down and I have told MACRA to look at that very seriously because we think that Malawians are being skinned alive. Something has to be done and it has to been done very, very quickly,” Kazako stressed.
The minister also bemoaned MACRA management for being used by politicians from previous governments and stressed that the tendency should be put on a death bed.
Director General for MACRA, Henry Shamu, has since promised to work on the matter.
“We got the message. We have a pertinent issue which we need to consider very urgently. We will engage the operators so that we can discuss how best we can address the issue. We expect as MACRA that the charges will go down,” remarked Shamu.
He said the regulator will invite mobile phone operators to discuss how they can go about reducing data charges.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :