By Kondwani Magombo
Mangochi, Mana: Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako has hailed Radio Maria-Malawi for preaching peace and tolerance over the two decades the radio has been in existence.
The Minister visited the radio station in Mangochi on Saturday where he appreciated the premises, offices and studios before going live on air as a guest with the radio’s Director, Father Joseph Kim, as host.
Kazako said government recognizes and appreciates the crucial role that religious radios play in shaping the society and he singled out Radio Maria-Malawi as one radio that has contributed a lot to the cause.
“Radio Maria is one of the most powerful and influential radio that has a large listenership not only in Malawi but beyond the borders,” he said, adding that, “It is one radio that has remained focused and it has never been moved by money or lack of it.”
He congratulated and commended Fr. Joseph Kim, for his passion and commitment to keeping Radio Maria-Malawi strong and a household name among both Catholics and non-Catholics.
Kazako acknowledged the “huge” contribution that the Catholic Church has made towards the social economic development of the country.
“The Catholic Church has been instrumental in areas of education and health, among others, and no government can refute that without the Roman Catholic institutions, we wouldn’t be where we are,” the Minister said.
He recognized the Catholic Church’s role of auditing government’s adherence to the rule of law adding that the Tonse Alliance leadership under Dr. Lazarus Chakwera shall always respect and take seriously the Church’s stand on issues of governance.
Father Kim described the appointment of Kazako as Minister of Information as ideal owing to the vast experience he has in the field.
He announced that Radio Maria-Malawi would in the near future be moving its base from Mangochi to Lilongwe where, according to the Director, a foundation stone was laid on Thursday.
Kim described the construction of the new radio’s base in Lilongwe as a very ambitious project that would cost up to K600 million and appealed for government’s support especially in providing tax waivers on certain materials and equipment.
“This is going to be a very big project and when complete, we want to plant top-notch studio equipment ordered from Germany,” he explained.
The Director added that, “My appeal to government is consideration of tax waivers on some building materials and the equipment we’re going to import.”
Kim pledged Radio Maria-Malawi’s continued commitment to keeping its listenership “well fed both in body and soul”.
Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) Director of Broadcasting, Fergus Lipenga commended Radio Maria-Malawi for being compliant with the regulations.
He said the radio has “always passed technical audit” and that it has “never been summoned for any bleach of license”.
Founded in 1999, Radio Maria-Malawi is a national radio under community of interest category and it promotes Christian values and peace.