Ufulu Radio linked to JB hits Malawi airwaves

Malawi has a new radio station officially on the air.

Ufulu Radio which was given licence to operate by the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) has started broadcasting.

The radio ownership is linked to President Joyce Banda’s family.

It joins radio stations broadcasting on FM including those owned by former president Bakili Muluzi, Joy FM and the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s Galaxy FM.

Live on air: Presenter at Ufulu radio
Live on air: Presenter at Ufulu radio

Malawi has over 20 registered radio stations.

Some of the radio stations such as Capital FM, Zodiak, Radio Maria, Radio Islam, Matindi FM , MIJ  FM and the national broadcaster MBC Stream live over the internet.

There are also web-based radio stations and a number of community radio stations.

However, all private radio and television broadcasting stations must seek advance permission from MACRA before conducting live broadcasts.

Since the re-introduction of multiparty democracy in Malawi in 1994 there has always been an outcry that successive governments have abused the publicly-funded MBC. Opposition figures only appear on state radio or television in unflattering stories like court appearances.

Listernership Survey

Recently Macra carried a listernership survey which indicated that privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) emerged the most-listened to radio station in Malawi beating the state-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).

The first private radio station to be introduced in Malawi after the fall of one-party rule, Power 101 – a youth-inclined entertainment station, polled nine per cent while the second private radio to be introduced in Malawi, Capital Radio, scored eight per cent. Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) FM got 15 per cent while Joy Radio polled ten per cent in the listenership survey.

Some Christian radio stations did not do too badly in the survey. Radio Maria of the Catholic Church got 27 per cent approval while Transworld Radio got 15 per cent.

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