The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has found Radio Islam Malawi guilty of violating the Communications Act courtesy of the recorded live comperative religion dawa programme: Tipanga Dawa that used to be broadcast on their station.
The station has since been issued with an official warning.
The warning was publicised through a Press Release published in The Nation Newspaper of Thursday October 6, 2011 pursuant to section 54 (4) of the Communications Act.
“This warning follows a meeting that was held at MACRA Offices on 3rd February, 2011 following a complaint from a listener in Mangochi.” says the Press Release.
MACRA further says that Radio Islam itself acknowledged the “breach of the Communications Act, the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters and their licence terms and conditions” after it aired the Tipange Dawa programme on 4th December, 2010.
Section 52 (2) of the Third Schedule to the Communications Act states that: “Broadcasting Licencees shall – Not broadcast any material which is indecent or obscene or offensive to public morals (including abusive or insulting language) or offensive to the religious convictions of any section of the population or likely to prejudice the safety of the Republic or public order and tranquility.”
Warned alongside Radio Islam is Capital Radio who were found guilty after a listener insulted the State President Bingu wa Mutharika during a Day Break Malawi programme.
In February this year the Malawi Muslims website reported that MACRA had banned the Tipange Dawa programme however, Radio Islam officials later clarified that they deliberately withdrew the programme since the discussions with MACRA were not yet concluded.
“It is true that MACRA received complaints from our friends of the Christian faith and MACRA communicated (the complaints) to us in writing,” explained Sister Fatima Jafali, a spokesperson for the station. “…In fact, we are discussing with them to see how best we can resolve the issue.”
However, Radio Islam officials were not readily available to comment on the latest development.