Parliamentary committee questions MBCs by-elections blackout


The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions and State Enterprises Sunday complained to Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) over the failure by Malawi Broadcasting Corporation to cover the recent by-elections.

The committee made the observation when it visited Macra to discuss several other emerging issues Monday.

A member of the committee disclosed that apart from discussions on the spy machine, CIRMS, and the communications bills, the deliberations also centred on the role of state broadcaster MBC on the just ended by-elections.


“We registered our concern that MBC did not say anything on the just-ended by-elections. We needed to find out why there was that blackout,” one of the members said asking for anonymity

But the Chairperson for the committee, Lilian Patel, declined to discuss further the matters that were raised in the meeting.

“We only came here to appreciate about what the authority is implementing, the CIRMS, which many people say it is used to spy on our communications.


“We are convinced that the machine is good for us. Among others, it will help Macra to determine how much traffic the telecommunication companies have and to MRA [Malawi Revenue Authority] how much to collect from the telecommunications companies. For the Communications Act, they are also on track,” she said.

During the by-elections, opposition Malawi Congress Party scooped all the three parliamentary seats and two wards while the ruling Democratic got one ward.

Macra officials did not grant Times an interview about the meeting, saying it was purely an internal one with the committee.

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