MISA Malawi would like to congratulate Times Group Editor-in-Chief George Kasakula on his appointment as the Director General (DG) of the public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).
The Board of MBC, which is duly empowered to appoint the MBC Director General, confirmed the appointment of Kasakula on Wednesday, May 5, 2021.
We understand that Kasakula’s appointment followed the due process of law and MISA Malawi believes the appointment is a vote of confidence by the Board that Kasakula is the qualified and right person to lead the process of bringing the much needed reforms at MBC.
Kasakula’s appointment comes at a time Malawians continue to complain about the partisan nature of programming by the public broadcaster. MBC requires a strong, professional and law-abiding Director General.
We find comfort in the Communications Act of 2016 which provides a good legal and operational support to every individual who occupies the high office of DG at the public broadcaster.
MISA Malawi would like to remind Mr. Kasakula of Section 109 of the Communications Act which provides a framework on MBC’s public service obligations.
Among others, the Act states that MBC shall provide public broadcasting services in accordance with the following principles:
– The encouragement of free and informed opinion on all matters of public interest
-Respect for human rights, the rule of law, and the Constitution
The Communications Act also provides that MBC shall, in the provision of its broadcasting services:
a) function without any political bias and independently of any person or entity;
b) support the democratic process;
c) refrain from broadcasting any matter expressing its opinion or opinion of the Corporation, on current affairs or on matters of public policy: Provided that the Corporation shall not be restrained from making editorial comments;
d) provide balanced coverage of any elections; and
e) operate with regards to the public interest.
We therefore expect Mr. Kasakula to follow the law to the letter as he takes up the challenging but very important task of steering MBC from muddy waters of politics to the legally and professionally expected realm of public interest. We wish him well.