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Cablegate: Media Authority Issues Ruling Against Pro-Kabila Tv

VZCZCXRO4330
RR RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1447 2581140
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151140Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4790
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001447

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PINS KPAO CG
SUBJECT: Media Authority Issues Ruling Against Pro-Kabila TV
Stations

REF: A) KINSHASA 1434, B) KINSHASA 1401, C) KINSHASA 1388

Sensitive but Unclassified. Not for Internet Distribution.

1. (U) Following its decisions September 12 - when the High Media
Authority (HAM) reprimanded or fined two Bemba-owned TV stations
(for jumping the gun with campaign broadcasts) and issued a warning
to the state-owned RTNC (for a show where Jean-Pierre Bemba was
referred to as a treacherous snake) (ref A) - the HAM issued further
decisions on September 13, based on a complaint by Bemba's MLC
party.

2. (U) Accordingly, three journalist/moderators from RTNC,
pro-Kabila RTGA, and pro-Kabila Digital Congo were reprimanded for a
one-sided, co-produced political talk show called "Grandes
Questions." Because the program violated the pledge signed by
broadcast media two weeks ago (refs B and C), notably the provision
that political shows not be one-sided at this time, the HAM
suspended the show for one month. Furthermore, those who appeared on
the show, Mr. Lambert Mende Omalanga, a prominent member of Kabila's
Alliance for the Presidential Majority, and Ms. Aena Tokwaulu are,
respectively, under a 15-day and 30-day ban from the media for
making provocative statements.

3. (SBU) Comment: The HAM is evidently seized with just how
important its role can be in keeping media allied with Joseph Kabila
and Jean-Pierre Bemba from becoming mouthpieces for hardliners of
both camps. The Ambassador will meet with HAM President Mutinga on
Monday to reinforce that role. End comment.

MEECE

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