The Lilongwe High Court on Wednesday upheld a restraining order obtained by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) against Multi-choice Malawi, preventing them from increasing television subscription fees. MACRA’s Director General, Daud Suleman, expressed the expectation that Multi-choice Malawi would comply with the order promptly, as they were seeking the court’s guidance on how to adhere to the injunction.
In response, MultiChoice Africa Holdings has made an immediate decision to withdraw DStv services from Malawi due to the High Court’s injunction, which stems from a dispute between MultiChoice Malawi and MACRA. MultiChoice Africa Holdings stated that MultiChoice Malawi does not provide DStv services to the public and therefore cannot set or adjust tariffs for this service. They mentioned having conveyed this point to MACRA on multiple occasions.
Accordin to them, the injunction has serious implications for the directors and management of MultiChoice Malawi, including the possibility of imprisonment, even though MultiChoice Malawi cannot execute the order due to their lack of control over DStv tariffs. MultiChoice Africa referred to the regulatory environment in Malawi as increasingly adverse, leading them to terminate DStv services indefinitely. They have advised customers to stop making payments for the DStv service.
Some individuals in Malawi have welcomed this development, viewing MultiChoice’s departure as a positive move due to their perceived exploitation of Malawians.