18 may 2012
Radio Communautaire Bangu and Nzondo TV, two stations broadcasting in Bandundu, capital of the province with the same name (western DRC), were sealed, respectively on 8 and 9 May 2012, by the Divisional Clerk of the High Court of Bandundu on a request from DGRAD (DRC non-fiscal tax collection service). The resumption of these media’s programmes is subject to the payment of 5,571 US dollars as tax for the operating permit for each.
According to information received by Journaliste en Danger (JED), as for Radio Communautaire Bandundu and Amen FM were, they were warned by DGRAD for the payment of instalments, on Monday 14 May 2012, not exceeding one third of this tax.
Contacted by JED, Rigobert Malalako, Director of Radio Communautaire Bangu, said they are in talks with DGRAD’s officials to whom they have submitted a request for a mercy on the partial payment before the end of the week. "Radio Communautaire Bangu’s monthly revenue does not even reach 200 US$. We receive no advertising except some ads that are not worth much", explained Malalako.
Désiré Tankuy, Director of Community Radio Bandundu FM, reported to JED that he requested a deferment of DGRAD’s decision requiring the payment of full tax from Community Radios.
While regretting the closure of these spaces of freedom and expression, JED urges DGRAD’s officials to be flexible with these media by negotiating a payment schedule.
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Democratic Republic of Congo