Malawi court lifts ban on phone-in shows

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Malawi’s High Court has lifted a ban on radio phone-in programmes imposed in June by the country’s independent communications regulator.

At the time, the Malawi Communications Regulation Authority Macra said that broadcasters had been indulging “in careless and unethical coverage of post-election events” that had the “potential to incite the masses into violence”.

But local media watchdog Misa-Malawi took the case to court, saying the ban was an infringement of the freedom of expression.

High Court Judge Ruth Chinangwa ruled in its favour, saying Macra had erred in issuing a blanket ban as it was a violation of broadcasters’ rights.

Regular protests have been held in Malawi since May when President Peter Mutharika won re-election.

Demonstrators have been angered by how the electoral commission handled the vote, alleging it was full of irregularities.

Dominica Nwabufo