Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has released a statement indicating that some broadcasters in the country owe it about K80 million in license fees.

According to Macra’s Public Relations Officer Clara Mulonya the money has been accrued by both established and those that failed to roll out.

Mlonya said: “Failure to honour license fees attracts regulatory sanctions under the Communications Act or license terms and conditions.

Macra uses its enforcement powers as provided in the act or license terms and conditions to recover the money or uses the courts as this is like any other debt.”

She said community broadcasters are the biggest culprits who fail to pay the fees as they are non-profit making.

“They usually rely on contributions from the communities and work is mostly done by volunteers and so it is hard for them to meet their obligations,” explained Mulonya.

She disclosed that during the 2013 / 2014 government year the regulator has collected close to K3 billion from among others include license fees, levies, frequency fees and penalties.

Mulonya could not disclose how much the regulator has remitted to the government’s Consolidated Fund his year.

According to Section 12 of the Communications Act Macra remits all excess funds to the government depending on the amount collected annually.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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