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MBC, Macra should be independent—minister

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Minister of Information Gospel Kazako has said his first job in office will be to see to it that taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority operate freely without favouring the government.

The two public institutions often come under heavy criticism over their alleged bias in their operations where they apparently favour the governing party.

But Kazako, a veteran broadcaster himself, said he will be interested to find out why MBC has been involved in spewing hate speech against those deemed to be opposing the government.

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Kazako has also promised that his ministry will ensure the Access to Information Act comes into force so that Malawians can easily access information from both public and private institutions.

“We will be putting measures to address the concerns that have been raised so that Malawians once again have confidence in the lone taxpayer funded broadcasting house,” Kazako said.

The Access to Information Bill was passed in December in 2016. Since then, various stakeholders have been calling for the rolling out of the Act.

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In the past, the Ministry of Information used to state that all structures for commencement of the Act had been agreed upon and that the only remaining thing were funds for operationalising the law.

On his part, Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia has indicated that Malawians should expect to see changes in some policies and operational framework in as far as public infrastructure is concerned.

Mia says he is ready to listen to people and that his ministry will be making decisions in line with the Tonse Alliance agenda of a Malawi that if for all regardless of their political affiliations.

“I believe through discussions with all stakeholders in the transport and infrastructure sector, the government will be able to identify gaps for the betterment of the sector,” Mia said.

The new ministers have been given a probation period of five years within which they are supposed to deliver according to various targets failing which they risk being dropped from their portfolios.

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