The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) admitted that its K400 million donation to the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) was only a formality but it was not happy with the equipment confessing that corruption must have affected the procurement process.
MACRA Chief Executive Officer Daud Sulieman told the MUBAS leaders that a donation of the creative studios was not worth K396 million and that the institution was only fulfilling what some officers had already signed.
“The equipment is outdated; we could have done better. It is not worth the amount. The two involved have since been fired,” said Suleiman. The officials signed the contract without the knowledge of the CEO and the Board.
MACRA board member Alekeni Menyani said it was the wish of the Authority to deliver modern and better equipment to the creative sectors as it would help boost the industry.
President of the Film Association of Malawi Gift Sukez Sukali had led an online reaction to the donation which showed very old camcorders as being part of the donation.
Sukez said, “as a world is advancing technologically, investing in old school cameras like these ones just show how we are not prepared for the future, these cameras are not future proof, in 2022/2023 we cant be using camcorders which we cannot even change Lenses.
“Involving young generation and experienced people to help identify latest cameras and equipment would have been better, we have the likes of Essim who is one of greatest DOP, Shemu Joyah who is one of the best directors, Peter Mazunda with extensive experience in cameras l, Khama Mbaula just to mention a few, with the amount mentioned you could buy not less than 40 Komodo RED Cameras, Black Magic, Sony FX6 , ARRI or advance 2022/2023 cameras which are cameras accepted by international content acquisition companies like Netflix.”
Other video and film directors started a K400 million MACRA challenge.
The two officials allegedly shared K100 million and the real cost of the refurbishment was not above K80 million according to inside sources. Among those fired recently are Head of Broadcasting and Head of Administration, the sources claimed.