Mzuzu, There is high demand for Kiliye television set boxes (decoders) amid scarcity on the market for the past six months, Malawi News Agency has established.
One selling point says, on average, 10 people enquire about the Kiliye decoders per day.
However, Malawi Digital Broadcasting Network (MDBN) marketing director John Mchilikizo said Monday in an interview that the decoders will be available on the market by next week.
He said the decoders, which were procured in China, have been in the country for a month now awaiting clearance by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
He said MDBN has been struggling to raise the sum of K80 million for custom duty.
We have procured the decoders, but just like any other imported goods, we have to pay custom duty, so we are yet to settle it.
It is not that we have just sat down. We are working with relevant offices such as MRA and Treasury; and the discussions [with them] give us assurance that we are going to have those decoders very soon, he said.
Mchilikizo, however, said the scarcity of the decoders will not in any way affect the company’s plans to reach out to 90 per cent of the country’s population.
He said soon MDBN will involve private traders in procurement and selling of decoders in the country.
Our main duty is to monitor the signal. We are currently procuring and selling the decoders since no any private traders have come forth, he said.
MANA’s random checks at selling points in Mzuzu showed that people travel from as far as Karonga to ask for the decoders while others call or use WhatsApp to ask for the same.
On Monday morning, two customers travelled in vain from Sonda on the outskirts of Mzuzu City to Regional Information Office (North) selling point for the decoders.
In an interview with MANA, the two customers said they have been enquiring for the set boxes at Mzuzu Post Office and Regional Information Office selling points since February this year.
Malawi launched digital television by migrating from analogue in April last year. The development requires viewers to buy Kiliye decoders for them to watch local channels.
Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA