The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has fined a private broadcaster in the country, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), $1 250 (about K930 000) over remarks Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice-chairperson Kamlepo Kalua made during an interview with the radio station.
The regulator, which says the fine is a quarter of Zodiak’s annual licence fees, has since urged ZBS to desist from further non-compliance with the terms and conditions of its licence and the Communications Act.
But ZBS managing director Gospel Kazako said in an interview they believe in being non-confrontational.
He said the station is yet to take a position in the interest of what it submitted to the regulator when summoned.
Kazako said ZBS still “strongly” believes that it is not in the wrong in the case and expressed concern that Macra was in the matter at hand the complainant, the jury and the judge.
“We feel this does not create a good atmosphere for them to pass a very good verdict. Another thing is that Macra has released this verdict without making all the evidence, including what we submitted to them, known to the public,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Macra, in a notice of fine and order dated November 28 2016 signed by director general Godfrey Itaye confirmed the findings which it published in the press on November 1 2016 on ZBS’s breach of licence terms and conditions and the Communications Act.
When contacted for a reaction on ZBS’s fine and order, Media Council of Malawi (MCM) executive director Vales Machila could not be drawn to comment as he said the council has not yet looked at the ruling. n