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Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Wednesday urged the public sector of the mass media to ensure unbiased and transparent coverage of the general elections scheduled for 15 October.
Speaking in the southern city of Matola, at the opening of a meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Government press office (GABINFO), Rosario said “I appeal to the public sector media to be in the vanguard of the noble mission to guarantee the publication of information about the 2019 elections in an unbiased, responsible and objective way”.
He added that the media are called upon to redouble their efforts in voter education, in order to ensure that citizens exercise their civic and democratic rights through a massive voter turnout at the polls.
Rosario encouraged GABINFO to continue improving its institutional mechanisms to support and coordinate media activities. He also recommended coordination between GABINFO and the Communication and Image Departments of the various sectors of the public administration, in order to ensure greater publicity for the activities and achievements of the government.
He urged those communication departments of state sectors to make available in good time quality information about the implementation of the government’s five year programme.
Rosario promised that the government will continue its efforts to support and strengthen the public sector media – but also called for greater rationalisation and transparency in the use of the resources allocated, so as to guarantee the normal functioning of the sector.
As for digital migration (the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting), the Prime Minister urged all those involved, including GABINFO as the supervisory body, to comply with the deadlines laid down for completing this process, so that Mozambicans can benefit from the technological advantages of digitalisation.
The General Director of GABINFO, Emilia Moiane, told the meeting that the government’s call for unbiased and transparent coverage of the elections was legitimate, since it would help make the electoral procedures credible, and bring useful information to Mozambican citizens.
The responsibilities of the media, particularly the public media, were even heavier this year, she added, because the elections are being held in a new legal framework – notably with the direct election of provincial governors, who had previously been appointed by the President of the Republic.