Parliament’s Media and Communications Committee has summoned public broadcaster, Malawi Broadcasting Corperation (MBC) over violations of the Communications Act and has also told the President to deal with the maize scandal.
According to the Chairperson of the committee, Sam Kawale, MBC Radio and MBC Television have not been complying with the laws of Malawi. He cited biased coverage as one of the violations.
“Personally, I am not pleased with what is happening at MBC radio and television. It is sad because those heading the institution are media experts who should have known better of the professionalism and ethics. Their news stories are not balanced which is a clear indication that they work to please government only instead of serving Malawians,” Kawale said.
Kawale said he intends to table the matter in Parliament next year and further explained that the public broadcaster is breaching media ethics by using chiefs and pastors to castigate opposition leaders without giving the opposition leaders a chance to tell their side of the story.
“MBC remains unprofessional in its conduct because its management is controlled by politicians,” said Kawale calling the current time a defining moment for Malawi to change.
The newly appointed Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Nicholas Dausi has however invited the chairperson to write MBC or follow proper channels before airing his concerns through the media.
According to the minister, government should consider Kawale’s concerns and map the best way forward.
“As a ministry, we are set to discuss the matter with the committee. If they have an issue, they should present it to us so that we can find best ways of resolving it,” Dausi said.
Some quarters of society have criticized MBC for promoting propaganda. Recently, some chiefs castigated leader of the opposition, Lazarus Chakwera, for his criticism of President Peter Mutharika’s leadership.
“The best way is to make MBC as independent as possible by first firing politicians at the helm of the organisation and second bringing in new legislation that will push for MBC to report to parliament and parliament have power to hire and fire its top staff,” said a concerned Malawian, Wilbet Mwale.
According to Mwale on a long run MBC should start thinking of that as that’s the only best way to get independent but before that they should promote inviting all parties and also invite APM to address Malawians on the current Mazie issue.
“That space MBC is giving to chiefs can be used better to address Malawians on the currently maize deals than castigating opposition.
“Staying idle on maize deals while MBC is putting propaganda first shows that APM and DPP are big failures who should resign or come out and speak now on what you will do to solve maize rot, how he will catch the thieves involved and how will he get our money back,” said Mwale.