Malawian tax authorities on Wednesday stormed privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) in Lilongwe and asked one of the country’s biggest media firm to settle its unpaid taxes or face shut down, Nyasa Times understands.
The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) which last year closed offices of the country’s biggest media firm, the Times Group, which was critical of the government and investigated controversial maize contracts, are claiming K1.7 billion in unpaid taxes from Zodiak, according to sources.
They have been moved to act after the corridors of power have not been happy with Zodiak in airing live political rallies of Vice President Saulos Chilima and his United Transformation Movement (UTM) which are paid for.
“MRA has demanded the unpaid tax to be paid or they will shut down the radio and television,” said the source.
Observers fear government is taking systematic steps to suffocate the media ahead of the next year’s elections.
MRA has been asked to allow for a progressive means of resolving any tax issues, including giving the media institution a chance to pay in installments their tax arrears.
The tax authority and government were not immediately available to comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :