Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has threatened to close down privately owned Dziko Radio Station for allowing listeners to use hate speech through its a phone-in programme ‘Kwachitikanji’.
On Friday morning MACRA officials summoned the owner of the radio, former State House Press Officer Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, warning him that they will suspend transmission if the programme continues to accommodate hate speeches.
MACRA Mtumodzi and programme presenter Joshua Malango after their programme on June 1st, 2016 allowed callers to criticize President Peter Mutharika and his government on the appointment of new commissioners at Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
“We have noted with great concern that the presenter of the programme [Joshua Malango] does not control callers during the programme and as a result callers recklessly attack and defame individuals,” Macra Director General Godfrey told Dziko Radio.
Itaye said the radio contravened provisions of Communications Act and breach the terms and conditions of their broadcasting licence.
But Mtumodzi blasted Itaye and MACRA, saying Dziko FM radio guarantees Malawians freedom of speech.
“This is not MBC. As Dziko FM we will pursue the principles of democracy, access and equity, especially for people and issues not adequately represented in other media outlets,” argued Mtumodzi.