ALERT: Radio Bangu from Bandundu City silenced by the DGRAD/Bandundu

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 15th, 2012. Radio Bangu office, located in Bandundu City, is closed since May 10th, 2012, following a permission prescription of closure n° 249/TGI/BDD/2011, depriving the population of information through this crucial time when the Bandundu provincial government as well as the central government is taking office.
The objective is simple: to hale Radio Bangu’s leaders, which has only one year of existence, to pay the prodigious amount of 5571 USD as a tax for the operating licence of a radio station, amount that the Federation of Local Radios of Congo is negotiating right now in order to lower it.
The radio’s managers were waiting for a follow-up to the letter attesting the end of their probation period and directed to the provincial minister of supervision for the official launch and the progressive ordering with the state. With the political jerks (at the level of the governorate of the province of Bandundu), it was impossible to organize this important manifestation, and they were awaiting the newly appointed team of the provincial government to know what would happened to the radio.
With the acquisition of new materials from Informorac Bandundu, the arrival of the relay kit from Radio Okapi, the broadcasting of some programs from Radio France Internationale and the (inconclusive) attempts to local television, they fear the robbery or the arson, taking into account that their guard will not be able to pass at night into the buildings.
The founding director of the radio is well aware of the payment (even with a schedule of repayments) of this amount, but nonetheless asks the relevant provincial institutions, notably the CSAC, the department responsible of the media, the civil society, etc. to help Radio Bangu to go on air again as soon as possible.
Let’s recall that the other radios from Bandundu City are also threatened to close anytime soon, since they are not able to pay their taxes due to a lack of revenues caused by the weak buying power in this city...
Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 130 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983, has been to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and cooperation.

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