Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), in a letter to Bruno Tshibala, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has expressed concern over the closure of two radio stations in Mongala on October 9.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali has condemned this act, declaring it an attack of media freedom. PPF also urged the authorities to immediately look into this matter and restore the transmission of both radio stations.
According to Journaliste en danger (JED), on October 9, a group of police officers acting under the orders of Bruce Bika Malambo, mayor of the city of Lisala, surrounded the offices of la Radio Liberté Lisala and la Radio Mwana Mboka (Rammbo), abruptly interrupted the transmissions and sealed the two stations.
The stations are owned by Jean-Pierre Bemba and Crispin Ngbundu, said to be close to the opposition leader Moïse Katumbi. Both candidates were defeated in the presidential elections held in Lisala, capital of the province of Mongala.
The mayor accused the stations of broadcasting an interview on October 6, with the Speaker of the Mongala Provincial Assembly who asked the public to stop paying taxes.
Returning from an official task from Kinshasha, the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly reacted the attempt to sideline the governor of the province by a group of MPPs for misusing public funds.
JED further added that, on September 17, the Provincial Interior Minister, Jean Makaka verbally ordered the suspension of two programs entitled’ “Allo! Mwana Mboka” and “Allo! Mwana Mboka tokei wapi”, broadcasted by the two radio stations for providing a platform to the people who criticize the government of the province.