Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

4 February 2013

Rwanda: Parliament Radio Transferred to Orinfor

The parliament radio Inteko Radio has been transferred to the public broadcaster Orinfor for management. This was done in an official handover of between the managing staff of Inteko Radio and the head of Orinfor which took place yesterday.

During the official handover, the president of the Senate, Jean-Damascene Ntawukuliryayo, said that the two sides have signed a 6-month Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is supposed to be guiding the partnership untill the end of this fiscal year. "This agreement is one of the steps to be taken in the course of shifting the whole of our radio station to the public broadcaster," he said.

The move follows a call by President Kagame recently for there to be a single public broadcaster apart from the private media. "I find no justification in the parliament owning a radio station. Why does it not broadcast its events through Orinfor's channels?" he asked in reply to a question at his latest press conference.

According to the Orinfor's acting director, Willy Rukundo, the MOU consists of transferring Inteko Radio's ownership and therefore its management. "As a public broadcaster we have a mandate to broadcast all the messages from public institutions. The fact that there was Inteko Radio which was a separate public broadcaster owned by one of the institutions was not good, we needed to merge to improve the way we operate," Rukundo said.

He added that for the time being, Inteko's news reporters will be reporting to Orinfor editors and the radio changes its name to Radio Rwanda Inteko as a branch of the public broadcaster which focuses on parliamentary events.

James Musoni, the Minister of Local Government who is in charge of media, said however that the philosophy behind Inteko radio will remain: bringing Rwandans close to what their central leaders and representatives are doing in real time. "This will help us build lasting media professionalism," he stressed.

He added that Inteko Radio will benefit from the move because it will be able to cover the whole country. "Inteko had to rent transmitters and antennas. It was not covering the whole country, but now, due to the shift, the Radio will benefit from Orinfor's infrastructure."

After June 30, the status of the MoU will be reviewed. Meanwhile, the budget of the radio and its staff members stay under the parliament's management as the institution which holds the budget.

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