The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in conjunction with Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has established an Election Broadcasting, Monitoring and Complaints Committee which aims at handling all electoral related complaints against the country’s licensed broadcasters ahead of May 21 elections.
The Committee has been set up in accordance with section 27 of the Communications Act-2016 and under the terms and condition of licenses issued to the broadcasters, according to a statement released on Thursday.
“The Committee will be chaired by the Chairperson of Media, Civic and Voter Education Committee of the MEC while the Director General of MACRA will be the secretary,” reads a statement signed by the interim Chairperson Dr. Mastern Moffat Banda.
The statement indicates that the committee comprises of six organisations namely, Malawi Electoral Commission, Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority, Malawi Law Society, MISA Malawi, Centre for Multiparty Democracy and Media Council of Malawi.
The electoral stakeholders are encouraged to lodge their complaints against irresponsible conduct of some broadcasters.
All the people submitting complaints will be required to provide personal details and as well as remains confidential if he or she chooses to.
Among other things, the complainant need to mention name station where material in question was broadcast and the time, explain the actual offending substance that was broadcast and demonstrate how it offends them.
“The Committee will make its determination on the complaint which will be communicated back to the Complainant. All complaints should be lodged in writing and those who are not able to write should seek assistance to submit a written complaint,” it reads.
Finally, the Committee assures the nations that all complaints submitted will be dealt with in the highest standards of impartiality and objectiveness whilst safeguarding the voters’ interest.