Joy TV Zambia will beam free to air across Southern Africa
Joy TV, a new satellite television station established by the Malawian opposition party, is to broadcast free to air across Southern Africa as a limited liability company in Zambia, according to Atupele Muluzi.
Atupele, son of the former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi, aims to contest the 2014 presidential elections in Malawi on behalf of the United Democratic Front.
His family's company, which operates Joy Radio has, he reportedly says, been waiting since 2006 to receive a broadcasting licence in Malawi, to no avail. Hence it has decided to broadcast from a neighbouring company.
"Zambia saw the lack of this freedom and allowed us. This is very serious. We will follow the procedures of whichever country and abide by any law. Freedom of expression cannot be stopped," Atupele is quoted as saying in The Nation.
Charles Nsaliwa, director general, Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) said the body is aware that "some prospective local broadcasters are intending to introduce foreign originating broadcasting services in Malawi without Macra's authorisation and approval."
According to the Maravi Post, Macra has said this practice would be "illegal in Malawi", citing article 4 of the ITU radio regulations. Where a broadcasting signal is transmitted across two bordering countries, the countries should coordinate the use of frequencies to avoid interference, says Macra.
In response, Atupele reportedly said Joy TV, as a free to air satellite broadcaster, will be a "Zambian company for the whole region without interfering with any frequency."