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State-controlled broadcaster bans local artist's music

(MISA/IFEX) - The Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), a state-controlled broadcaster, has banned the latest album of the country's celebrated musician Lucius Banda, from enjoying airplay on the station's airwaves.

The album, known as "Fifteen Fifteen", takes a critical look at the current political developments taking place in the country. Speaking to Capital Radio on 6 January 2010, the Acting Controller of Programmes at MBC, David Kamkwamba, said the station was only following its editorial policy by banning Banda's music. "MBC is guided by its editorial policy and we are at liberty to choose what material to broadcast on the station," he said.

In one of the songs in the album, the musician calls upon the old guard in all the country's political parties to pave way for new blood. Banda also accuses the incumbent president, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, of political appeasement by appointing people into various positions based on their political inclinations and places of origin. Mutharika, who is a Lhomwe by tribe, is accused of favoring Lhomwe people.

When asked for comment by "The Daily Times" newspaper, Banda replied "these are the very things we are saying . . . need to change. We want to bring a generation that will not be worshipped, a generation that will stop thinking 'what will my boss say'."

Banda has several albums to his credit including "Son of a poor man", "Unity", "Survivor", "Cease Fire", "Down Babylon" and "Freedom". He is one of the few musicians who took a stand against the one-party system of government in 1993.

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