Court lifts ban on phone-in programs

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The High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe has lifted a ban on radio phone-in programs describing it as irregular and illegal.

The ban was issued by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in June 2019 in order to limit the conduct of broadcasters on post-election events. 

But MISA Malawi, Capital RadioMalawi, Times Radio and Zodiak Broadcasting Station argued that the ban violated press freedom.

The four media institutions then asked the court’s declaration that MACRA’s decision violates constitutionally guaranteed press freedom and freedom of expression.

 The panel of three judges; Charles Mkandawire, Chifundo Kachale and Anabelle Ntalimanja has faulted MACRA on its failure to issue the ban through appropriate authority and using the right legal procedures.

 Speaking after delivery of the judgement, lawyer for MISA Malawi and the three radio stations, John Suzi Banda said that it was necessary for procedures to be followed and applauded the judgement.



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