The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority( MACRA) , has given a public beoadcaster, MBC, a notice of 7 days to make representation of the preliminary findings of breach following a beamed picture carrying obscene, swear and embarrassing words castigating State Vice President, Dr. Saulosi Klaus Chilima, who is also UTM leader.
MACRA is reminding MBC and all Broadcasters to refrain from using such materials and strictly observe the Broadcast Communication Act during any broadcasts.
The organization is also reminding Broadcasters that as signatories to the code for Broadcasters during Elections, they must strictly adhere to this code.
This is contained in a public notice statement by MACRA management with the subject, ” Broadcasting of indecent, obscene and offensive material by MBC.
In a statement, MACRA says it has noted with grave concern the news bulletin by MBC broadcasts on its Television platform during prime time on 11th May, 2020 saying the bulletin aired material that is deemed indeed obscene and offensive to public morals contrary to section 22(a) of the Broadcasting Act, reminding Broadcasters of their duty to ensure equitable allocation of airtime and avoid hate speech, abusive and inflammatory language during the official campaign period.
“MACRA shall continue discharging its broadcasting monitoring mandate during this election period and shall not hesitate to evoke regulatory action against any broadcaster including MBC, who will be in breach of the Communications Act and its regulations management,” read a statement.
In its statement, MISA Malawi has asked MACRA to discipline MBC and ensure that the station is professional f operates according to the provision of the Communicarions Act and Parliament should take concrete steps that would guarantee non partisan programming at MBC all times.
Meanwhile, reports circulating on the social media are indicating that MBC has suspended four of its newsroom staff after the station received condemnation for beaming a picture carrying obscene language castigating State Vice President, Dr. Saulosi Klaus Chilima during Monday’s Chichewa news bulletin at 7 pm.
According to the reports, Henry Haukeya( report narrator), Mercy Zamawa and Kondwani Chinele( news producers) and a video editor, who is yet to be known, for failing to detect the obscene language beamed.
Earlier, Legal practitioners, George Jivason Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company, representing Mr. Nicely Msowoya, Yoth And Society( YAS), Church and Society of the CCAP, Livingstonia Synod and HRDC, have given MBC up to Friday, 15th May, 2020 demanding suspension of its broadcasting services.