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Fr. Jailos Mpina of Luntha TV at the scene of a fire that damaged Malawi Telecommunications Limited’s broadband hub in Lilongwe Fr. Jailos Mpina of Luntha TV at the scene of a fire that damaged Malawi Telecommunications Limited’s broadband hub in Lilongwe  

Luntha TV off-air as fire destroys Malawi’s Telecommunication Hub

A fire has damaged Malawi Telecommunications Limited’s broadband hub in Lilongwe and in the process paralysed the country’s sixteen private television stations including Catholic Luntha TV.

Andrew Kaufa, smm – Nairobi, Kenya

According to Fr Jailos Mpina, Luntha TV’s Director of Operations, the fire at the Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) situated at CIVO Stadium, in Lilongwe, did not spare equipment belonging to Luntha TV.

Control system for 16 private television stations destroyed

“I was in our studio in Lilongwe when we realised that Luntha TV is off air. I called Malawi Digital Broadcasting Network’s Chief Engineer, Mr Dennis Chirwa to find out why all the 16 television stations on MDBNL’s Kiliye-kiliye platform are off-air except the government-owned Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC)…This is when I got information that the entire control system at Malawi Telecommunication Limited Centre which is the head-end of the digital platform is on fire,” recounted Fr. Mpina.

The MTL CIVO Stadium Microwave in Area 3, Lilongwe houses the control system (Head-end) for Malawi Digital Broadcasting Network Limited (MDBNL) who are the only digital public television signal distributor in the country carrying all private local television stations including Luntha TV.

Malawi’s Catholic Luntha TV

Founded by the Montfort Missionaries in 2007, Luntha TV broadcasts content that promotes holistic human development among its targeted viewers. This includes religious inspiration, educational, relaxation and information programmes.

To go back on-air when the MTL infrastructure and the MDBNL digital multiplex have been repaired, Luntha TV will have to purchase and replace all its damaged equipment at the site.

Lilongwe City Fire Brigade officials said the cause of the fire is still unknown as they were still investigating.

26 January 2020, 12:10