The new broom at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has started sweeping clean. After inheriting the public broadcast¬er under a heavy financial burden, the new management has declared that no client will be getting services from the broadcast¬er for free, Malawi News has established.
The development comes amid rev¬elations by Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu last week who told parliament that various clients owe MBC billions of kwachas in unpaid service fees.
However former ruling Democratic Progressive Party is denying reports that it owes the public broadcaster about K7 mil¬lion in unpaid advertising.
Newly appointed Director General for the public broadcaster Benson Tembo re¬sponding to a questionnaire said MBC is currently reconciling records which will be used to approach its debtors which has ac¬cumulated for long period of time.
"It has taken us a long time to demand what we are owed by various clients mainly because of political pressure that MBC has been subjected to for the past years. Now we will use all strategies and resources available to us to collect what is owed to us," Tembo said.
Minister of information told Malawi News in an interview that it is now up to MBC management to use government's po¬litical will in order to revitalize the operations of the public broadcaster which has been ac¬cused for years of being used as a state pro¬paganda tool.
"Firstly MBC has to recover its money from whosoever is owing them and the min¬istry will then come in to assist. It is an open secret that the broadcaster has been reeling under leadership problems," said Kunkuyu.
DPP Secretary General denied any knowledge of debts that the party
Finance minister Ken Lipenga during the delivery of the 2012/13 Budget Statement in parliament last week said the broadcaster has for the past year posted losses of K5 bil¬lion.
Recent media reports indicated that the unenviable financial position of MBC has re¬sulted among others to be ejected from its rented Mema studios on Lilongwe besides failing to cover live proceedings of parlia¬mentary deliberations.
But in response to this Tembo said,"you know that the fiscal year ends in June and the issue of live coverage for Parliament is re¬ally a temporal measure because our finan¬cial position could not carry us to the end of the fiscal year.