By MOSES HAVYARIMANA
Burundi communication regulatory body (CNC) has suspended Voice of America (VOA) and British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) for six months starting from next month, this comes after the Burundi Government’s Secretary General called on the regulatory authority to take necessary measures for media houses that do not follow journalism ethics.
“CNC has sanctioned BBC for not taking into consideration the warning we sent to them on 16th march asking the British organization to take into serious account the balance of information and verification of sources,” said Karenga Ramadhan the Chairman of the CNC.
The regulatory authority said that the content broadcasted on March 12th this year was putting the national cohesion and reconciliation at stake, “the interviewee and the presenter were talking on sensitive issues on the country which also putting at stake the reputation of the head of state.”
Media in Burundi had been on spotlight since 2015 when protests erupted against the incumbent president Pierre Nkurunziza as some media houses were banned and suspended, however some were reopened a few months later after being cleared by the country’s judicial system.
Voice of America’s broadcast in the country has also been suspended accused of using the online website of media houses that have been shut down in Burundi since 2015, “not only partnering with that online media but they had recently hired a Swahili journalist whose arrest warrant had been issued,” said Mr Karenga.
Though the Burundi communication Regulatory Authority suspended the two international media houses from broadcasting in the country, the Burundi authority said that they will be willing to welcome any complaints against the decision.
“Whoever thinks that the decision made today is not rightful is allowed to lodge a complaint through our legal system.”
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