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MISA Malawi calls for reversal of phone-in programmes suspension

Freedom of expression threat
7 Jun, 2019
MISA Malawi finds MACRA’s decision unwarranted and a very serious violation of media freedom and freedom of expression, which the supreme law of the country, the Malawi Constitution, fully recognises.

MISA Malawi is calling for an immediate reversal of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority(MACRA) decision to suspend phone-in programmes.

In its public announcement titled ‘The conduct of broadcasters on coverage of post elections events’ dated June 7,2019, MACRA says it has suspended all phone-in programmes with immediate effect until further notice.

MISA Malawi finds MACRA’s decision unwarranted and a very serious violation of media freedom and freedom of expression, which the supreme law of the country, the Malawi Constitution, fully recognises.

In its announcement, MACRA alleges that there are ‘some broadcasters’ who are indulging themselves in careless and unethical coverage of post-election events. 

It is surprising and worrying that the regulator has decided to unlawfully punish all broadcasters, their listeners and the general public with an unjustified suspension of all phone-in programmes.

Thus MISA Malawi calls on MACRA to immediately reverse its suspension of phone-in programmes. As has been the case, we expect MACRA to discipline the few who may have breached their broadcasting licences. We however expect that that process will follow all the due procedures where, among others, the media houses are also given the right to be heard.

MACRA should not use its regulatory mandate to stifle Malawians’ right to know and freedom of expression.

MISA would also like to call upon all broadcasters to remain professional and ethical in their duties and respect the demands of their broadcasting licences.

Media contacts

MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga
Cell: +265 999 247 911 or email teresa.temweka@gmail.com
MISA Malawi National Director Aubrey Chikungwa
Cell: +265 999 327 311 or email info@misamalawi.org

 

 

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

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Malawians must be free to express themselves. Any law that is contradicting the Constitution must fall. We will repeal and review undemocratic laws - Aboo Naliwa, Chairperson, Parliamentary Committee on Media & Communication.
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Today, @misamalawi engaged Parliamentary Committee on Media & Communication on issues of #FreeSpeech in #Malawi. @misamalawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga asked the legislators to support review of #CyberSecurity law which limits online expression.
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