FOLLOWING government's recent closure of a pirate radio in Mulanje, the Malawi chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Malawi) is mobilizing resources to set up a community radio in the district, writes Allan Phiri in The Tribune.

According to MISA Malawi National Chairperson Brian Ligomeka, the media body has decided to set up the radio in the district because of the gap that the closure of Pachikweza (Pirate) Radio has created.

"The truth is that in some parts of Mulanje, people are not able to listen to most of the local radios due to poor reception. The chiefs have stated that people are forced to listen to Mozambican radio stations whose signals are stronger in the border district," he said.

Ligomeka said MISA Malawi is mobilizing resources so that they can set up the radio which will be handed to the community.

"The process has began. We have met all the six traditional authorities, district officials and development partners. They have thrown their weight behind the initiative. Our next step is to present the application for the licence to the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority," he said.

Ligomeka explained that MISA Malawi is now soliciting support in form in financial resources, equipment, professional and technical expertise, and even human resources.

"We are asking local and international partners including individuals, companies, NGOs, institutions, media bodies, and donors to assist us. For instance, if someone offers us US$1500, that is enough to pay licence fees for Mulanje Community Radio. Another one can come in with a donation of computers, another with broadcasting and transmission equipment, even second hand equipment et cetera and this radio project will be a reality," he said.

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