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Macra, pounces on Multichoice Malawi

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By Justin Mkweu & Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Communications regulator, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra), has fined pay TV service operator Multichoice Malawi K10 million for failure to get approval to implement revised tariffs, among other things.

A letter to the company making rounds on social media, dated December 27 2022, reference Macra/DG/124/km and bearing Macra Director General Daud Suleman’s signature, indicates that the authority has leveled four counts against the company.

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It says Multichoice Malawi breached Section 74(1) of the Multichoice’s Subscription Management Service licence for adjusting tariffs for DSTV without prior approval from the authority.

“Multichoice should submit its subscriber database to the authority and publish a notice in the press stating that customers have been credited with the difference between the unapproved tariff and pre-adjustment tariff pursuant to Section 195(2)(g) of the Communications Act,” the statement reads.

Macra Commutations Manager Zadziko Mankhambo shared with us a public notice that the authority issued bearing similar information.

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However, a separate statement making rounds on social media shows that Multichoice Malawi, through its Corporate Affairs Manager Zena Makunje, denies the fine saying it is directed at the wrong company as DStv is a service offered by MultiChoice Africa Holdings.

“The DStv service, which Macra is penalising Multichoice Malawi for, is not offered by Multichoice Malawi. Multichoice Malawi does not set the price of this service nor decide on any price adjustments. Multichoice Malawi merely collects the subscription for DStv on behalf of Multichoice Africa Holdings,” the statement reads.

Makunje could not pick our calls to authenticate the document.

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