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Fire Macra Board—HRDC

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JUSTIFIED DUBAI TRIP— Ngwira

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to fire Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) Board for wastage, following revelations that the regulator spent K46 million on an orientation event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In a statement which HRDC Chairperson Gift Trapence issued and signed Sunday, the coalition says the board has demonstrated that it has been captured by management and will, therefore, fail to play its oversight role.

“In the best interest of Malawians, we call on President Lazarus Chakwera to immediately dissolve the Macra Board and have people that are willing to serve Malawians and not the current board that is bent on personal interests and self-enrichment.

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“Instead of being gatekeepers, they have demonstrated selfish, unreasonable and careless tendencies,” the statement reads.

HRDC doubts the board’s capacity to help the government clean the rubble, further questioning Macra management for sending board members for training before the recruitment of chief executive officer and top management.

“Is this board really in charge? Is this not inducement? Does this board have the interest of poor Malawians at heart?” HRDC queries.

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The board is chaired by Stanley Khaila and some of the members include Father Henry Saindi.

Macra spokesperson Clara Ngwira told our sister paper, Malawi News, on Saturday that the training board members attended in Dubai was part of capacity building.

The K46 million that was spent was only for allowances and air tickets for seven people. The amount does not include the cost that was paid to Pinnacle Training Institute, which was hired to train board members.

Recently, former Ombudsman Martha Chizuma, in her report on Macra, questioned the board’s capacity to oversee administration of the institution.

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