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Macra to revoke licences of unaudited broadcasters

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The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has warned that it may be forced to revoke licences of broadcasters that will fail to submit audited accounts by the end of this year.

The revelation was made at a Northern Region stakeholders’ workshop on draft rules on Universal Service Fund held in Mzuzu City.

Macra Technical Adviser on Digital Migration, Benson Tembo, expressed worry that some media institutions do not submit audited accounts to Macra.

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He urged broadcasters to meet their obligation by the end of the year.

“It is a licence obligation for each and every broadcaster to provide audited accounts every year so that we know exactly how they are providing services. Our Universal Service Fund requires that they are given a levy [in relation] to the fund and this will be determined by [details in] audited accounts.

“If broadcasters do not comply with the obligation, Macra will not hesitate to revoke their licences by the end of this year,” Tembo said.

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Macra introduced a one percent levy on gross revenue of broadcasters, which serves as a contribution to Universal Service Fund, which aims to promote the provision of information and communications technology services in the country.

Acting Managing Director for Karonga-based Radio Dinosaur, Alexander Mhango, commended Macra for issuing the warning, saying the move would help check cases of corruption in media houses.

He then hailed the introduction of Universal Service Fund, saying it would help improve signal reception in remote areas.

“This system is good because it will guarantee the availability of broadcasting signals even to the poor of the poorest in Malawi. For example, where I come from in Karonga, there is a place where there is no signal but, with this fund, the listener will be able to access signals,” Mhango said.

Other stakeholder meetings were held in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.

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