Malawi’s president tears into industry regulator, national broadcaster
Malawi’s new president Lazarus Chakwera has dissolved the board of directors managing the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) and that of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), barely a week after his election.
According to a statement from the office of the Chief Secretary Zangazanga Chikhosi, the action is with immediate effect.
Chikhosi said Chakwera has received reports from various state institutions regarding the status of their operations in order to chart the way forward.
“The dissolution of state institution boards will inform the steps I will soon be taking to ensure that all institutions have the wherewithal to address the anomalies and malpractices within them,” Chakwera said.
On 27 June 2020, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declared Chakwera winner of the fresh presidential election after defeating the incumbent Peter Mutharika.
Chakwera vowed to root out corruption, unprofessionalism and nepotism in state institutions in the Southern African country.
Governance analyst Makhumbo Munthali was quoted by the local Nyasa Times publication as saying, “The dissolving of the boards should be viewed as a positive development coming against the background of under-performance and political infiltration of the same.”
MACRA and MCB face allegations of corruption by senior officials.
Recently, MACRA director general Godfrey Itaye was removed from his position, but refused to leave claiming that only the Board could enforce his removal and not the government.
The Board allegedly backed Itaye’s claim the government did not follow procedure in removing him from his position and allowed him to continue working.
In April this year, MACRA also lost a case in court involving Itaye’s predecessor Charles Nsaliwa and was ordered to pay him huge sums of money for unfair dismissal.
The MACRA board also failed to take action against the MCB for airing what the Malawi Human Rights Commission claimed was “obscene and disparaging content” against the country’s vice President Saulos Chilima during political campaigns.