Misa-Malawi hail JB govt for issuing 15 broadcasting licenses

The country’s media watchdog, Misa-Malawi , has lauded the Joyce Banda administration for living up to its word by issuing several television and radio licenses to private operators.

Misa chairperson Anthony Kasunda was reacting to news that the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has issued 15 licenses to radio and television stations.

Kasunda told Nyasa Times that his organization is pleased with the development saying it would help Malawians access to information from a wide range of independent sources.

“We are pleased with the development because Malawians have a right to access information from the media of their choice,” said Kasunda.

MISA Malawi Chair Anthony Kasunda commends President Joyce Banda

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Kasunda further said the development means people would be accorded the universal right of watching and listening to a station of their choice without being restricted.

He added: “People should not be restricted to watch or listen to a particular media. We have been advocating for opening up of air waves and we are glad that this government agrees with us.”

Meanwhile, commenting on the development, Macra confirmed that Zodiak Broadcasting Service(ZBS)  is among several applicants that have also been awarded television  license to beam in Malawi.

“Yes, I can confirm of that development but there will be an announcement of awarding of new licenses and ZBS falls within that category,” Macra’s Communications Manager Zadziko Mankhambo said in a telephone interview.

“As of now what I can say is that there is a pending license negotiation stage, thank you,” he said.

Nyasa Times understands that apart from ZBS other institutions that have been awarded television licenses include Times Group, Timveni, Adventist and Beta while radio licenses have been awarded to Matindi, Good News, CCAP Blantyre Synod and Mwandama among several others.

Malawians have long been crying for the ‘open up’ of the license awarding process after being given a raw deal by the state owned MBC television.

Earlier this year, Macra also awarded television licenses to Mutharika’s Galaxy, Mulhakho  wa Alhomwe, ABC and Channel for All Nations.

Already there are three religious based stations currently beaming to some parts of the commercial city, with two based in Blantyre and one in Balaka owned by Montfort Media.

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