21 November 2012

Mozambique: District Administrator Closes Community Radio

Maputo — The administrator of Macanga district, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, has illegally closed down the local community radio station, according to a report in Wednesday’s issue of the independent newsheet “Mediafax”.

Faite ordered the closure of the Furancungo Plateau Community Radio on Monday, alleging that it was being mismanaged.

He went to the radio personally on Monday morning, with four of his staff, and simply ordered it to stop broadcasting, claiming that it was being mismanaged by the community association that owns the radio.

Faite said he had ordered the closure in order to restructure the radio and recover state property “because they are not complying with the norms of community radios in Mozambique”.

He claimed that computers donated by UNESCO had been damaged, “there is no conservation of state property, there is no system for managing funds, there is no coordination with the local government, they are not serving the community”.

Even if all these accusations were true, it would not make Faite’s behaviour any less illegal. But the radio’s coordinator, Vasco Captone, says they are not true He declared that the radio is functioning well and has an operational management committee.

Captone believed that the true motivation for Faite’s behaviour is the outspoken way in which the radio has reported on the life of the district, which may not have been to the liking of the Macanga district government.

Faite says that the district government is working “to restore order to the radio”, and he believed it would start broadcasting again next week.

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