Court removes ban on phone-in programmes

The High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe has ruled that the ban on phone-in programmes by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) was illegal.

Macra banned all phone-in programmes on June 7, 2019 citing unprofessionalism and breach of the Broadcasting Regulations by some broadcasters in the wake of nationwide anti-government protests.

The development prompted the Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa Malawi) broadcasters to seek legal intervention on the decision.

The Court has also quashed the Broadcasting Regulations developed by the Ministry of Information in 2019 for lacking consultations and not being tabled before the National Assembly.

The court has also ordered Macra to pay the costs that will be determined by the applicants.

Speaking to YFM Online after the its judgment, lawyer representing Misa Malawi, John Suzi Banda, said the verdict means that Macra acted unconstitutionally.

Macra, through its lawyer, Innocent Kadam’manja, said they have accepted the judgement’

Kadamanja added that they will contemplate on the way forward with the authority.

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