Malawi broadcaster arrested for operating without a licence
The proprietor of a Malawi broadcasting platform has been arrested and charged with illegal broadcasting, with the police also shutting down the company’s offices.
The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) on 14 August 2023 announced that Impression Media Limited’s managing director, Partridge Nthakomwa had been arrested and granted bail. He is expected to appear in court soon.
Impression Media’s offices have also been shuttered.
The company argues that it is not a broadcaster but a platform offering over the top (OTT) services.
Impression Media claims they have tried registering with MACRA, but there was no regulatory framework for online services.
Prior to the latest development, Impression Media said it had been trying to register with MACRA since 2022 without much luck.
MACRA said that broadcasting without a licence contravenes Section 187 of the Communications Act.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.
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Impression Media Limited’s managing director, Partridge Nthakomwa