Malawians have accused Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) of being used by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to deal with one of the privately owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) for being critical of the current regime.
The criticisms come following a MK930,000 fine that MACRA has handed down to Zodiak over the remarks that opposition People’s Party (PP) third Vice President for the North Kamlepo Kalua uttered two months ago through the station.
Kalua who is also Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament vice-chairperson alleged that the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants to start shedding blood, purportedly, of people deemed to be attacking or opposing government.
He added that DPP regime killed student Robert Chasowa, United Democratic Front (UDF) regime killed musician Evison Matafale and Fanikiso Phiri, another student from Chancellor College (CHANCO).
MACRA argued that the remarks were sensitive and breach of broadcasting act hence the fine.
But the fine has angered many Malawians with others accusing the body of being used by the DPP administration to oppress its critics.
Gaven Wa Bullets Msademwana wrote: “I knew it, this govt hate zbs so much even during the press briefing held by APM after his long stay in America, he criticized zodiak journalists kuti ndi abodza yet it was true kuti ankadwaladi shame on u macra.”
On his part, Gift Ck John urged Zodiak to continue with its role of providing checks and balances.
“Don’t give up a zbx mumakwana haevy y cnt u fne mbc inja imawelenga ma umbon a treason wabodza r u sure macra dnt 4gt pitala azachoka xo tizawnexana zpangan itx unfair,” he said.
Another concerned citizen identified as Francis Caesar Nkhata questioned MACRA’s silence on the unprofessionalism of the state controlled radio, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC radio 1).
“The regulatory body has not summonned tax-payer funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)which has broadcast interviews from ruling DPP officials dressing down opposition politicians without hearing the latter’s side,” said Nkhata.
Concurring with Nkhata’s remarks Lovemore Wiseman Chapasingo said: “This is bias, what do you hide behind you. Zodiak is for people, we have freedom of speech and freedom of justice.
“So you Stupid partisan and poor governors should stop your rubbish right now,or else.people are more than you.”
“You can be stealing from people uselessly in that way.its our money. You should be ashamed by yourself. Demons”
Meanwhile the radio’s managing director Gospel Kazako maintained that his media house conducted themselves in an ethical and professional manner and balanced with the accused parties to have their say on the accusations.