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The Mozambican branch of the regional press freedom association MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) has called on the government to revoke its appointment of the former Minister of Industry and Trade, Armando Inroga, as chairperson of the board of Mozambican Television (TVM).
Inroga was appointed on Tuesday, and sworn into office by Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Wednesday. The appointment was surprising in that Inroga, who is an economist by profession, has no media experience.
MISA’s main complaint, however, is that the government completely ignored the constitutionally enshrined watchdog on press freedom and the right to information, the Higher Mass Media Council (CSCS).
The Constitution states that the CSCS “intervenes in the appointment and dismissal” of the top managers of the publicly owned mass media. Yet there was no consultation with the CSCS before the government appointed Inroga to head TVM.
“The appointment of a politician, without any history in the mass media, is a sharp blow and a setback in the country’s ambition to advance towards full freedom of the press and of expression, and particularly towards the independence and impartiality of the public sector media”, declared MISA-Mozambique in a Wednesday statement.
MISA noted that this is an election year (nationwide municipal elections are scheduled for October), and by appointing a politicians to head “one of the most important and influential of the public media, the government is not only sending a worrying signal about how the public media will operate, but is also undermining all efforts to democratise national public institutions”.
MISA urges the government to think again and to revoke Inroga’s appointment. It also insisted that the government “must strictly observe constitutional principles and other legislation concerning matters of this nature”.Source: AIM
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