Information Minister Gospel Kazako on Monday advised the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) to ensure internet service providers and mobile phone operators reduce data charges.

The Minister was speaking at MACRA headquarters in Blantyre during a familiarisation tour.
Kazako said it is worrisome to note that Malawians are charged a lot of money on internet services while neigbouring countries are paying less on the same.

The Minister said it is unfair for telecomm operators in the country to charge poor Malawians exorbitantly on internet services while their counterparts in neighbouring countries are paying less for similar services.

“It’s unfair. Yes, imagine in neighbouring Tanzania people buy 1GB data for internet at 4 US cents while us in Malawi we buy the same 1GB internet data at 80 US cents.”

He then said Tonse Alliance is a people centred government and will put lives of Malawians first in all the aspects of development, adding: “This will come to an end very soon.”

The Minister also admonished MACRA management for being used by politicians from the recently ousted regime and said that “should never happen again.”

He said Tonse Alliance will make sure MACRA operations must benefit Malawians and not be a cashcow for politicians.

“The past regime used this company to siphone money for party functions. We we will not allow that. Infact, we will arrest all the perpetrators of this vice.”

Director General for MACRA, Henry Shamu, concurred with the Minister on punitive charges of internet usage and has since said that the authority will court internet service providers in the country for a roundtable discussion so that they reduce charges.

The Minister is familiarizing himself with departments and entities under his ministry.

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