The president of the Southern African Institute for Social Communication (MISA), Angola said today that he sees “some regression” of press freedom, saying that he is concerted with the concentration of organs in the country
André Mussamo, who was speaking to Lusa today at the end of the inauguration ceremony for the new governing bodies of MISA Angola, considered that there was a “regression of press freedom in Angola compared to the political cycle” that the country is experiencing.
“With the arrival of President João Lourenço, it seemed that there was a breath of fresh air when it comes to this theme, but recently it has started to be pinched”, he added, saying: “We hope to be wrong, hopeful that it will be just one little turbulence ”.
As the new leader of MISA Angola, he was elected on March 21, 2020, he pointed out actions that are configured in a “retreat” of press freedom in the country.
“Yes, clearly there are setbacks, for those who had a more power of media acting both publicly and privately, which as an example are now under the control of the Government, it is to be worried”, he noted.
Several private media organizations, namely TVZimbo, Palanca TV, O País newspaper, Rádio Mais, Rádio Global, a producer of audiovisual content and a printing company, passed to the Angolan State sphere for “being constituted with public funds”.
The action is part of the process of recovering assets of the Angola under the program to fight corruption, one of the governance axes of the Angolan President, João Lourenço.
The performance of public information agencies, recently has been criticized in various social and political circles in Angola due to their absence in various public demonstrations held in the country, namely against the performance of security forces during pandemic. .
According to André Mussamo, it is understandable the argument evoked by the authorities about the reversal of some organs in their favor because they were constituted with illicit resources from State funds, however, to a possible monopoly.
“What we defend and suggest, and this is our opinion, is that the real situation is diagnosed as quickly as possible and a decision to be made, for example, for a process of alienation or privatization to diversify and multiply the dependence of the media itself”.
“Having all of them concentrated in a kind of civil monopoly, and it is not healthy and our great interest is that it would be good if these organs were returned to the private sphere, licensing them to people with the capacity to keep them functional and at the service of democracy ”, he defended.
Palanca TV was recently made official as a new sports channel for Public Television of Angola (TPA), with the authorities guaranteeing that new thematic channels will be launched in the near future.
Mussamo says that this is a legitimate decision of the Government, the transformation of Palanca TV into a thematic channel, “because it is the holder of the organ and that maybe it can make it what is of interest”.
“But from the point of view of the diversity of organs, it is not good that a channel, previously private, when returning to the rightful owner, is immediately co-opted to become the public channel of sport”, he concluded.
In the last few days, a new suspension of the SIC Notícias channel on the platform of the DSTV satellite television distribution channel, which operates in Angola, was announced.
This article is available in: Português