MoAfrika FM shut down

MoAfrika FM shut down

MASERU – THE government last night shut down MoAfrika FM for allegedly inciting violence.
The closure was announced by Acting Communications Minister Thesele ’Maseribane on state-owned Lesotho Television.
’Maseribane who is also the Minister of Public Service said he was advised by security agencies that the radio station was inciting violence and was allegedly using hate speech.

He said he decided to use his powers to shut down the station for 72 hours “while we work on this issue”.
It is not clear which of MoAfrika FM’s programmes had triggered the decision.
Efforts to contact the station manager, Ratabane Ramainoane, were not successful yesterday.

The radio station yesterday morning had agreed to the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)’s self-exiled deputy leader Tšeliso Mokhosi’s request to register the names and contacts of complainants of police torture.

Mokhosi had said Amnesty International was interested in interviewing as many victims as possible and so he asked MoAfrika FM to help with their registration.

Also, the radio station was the only one used by the opposition parties to criticise the government especially Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s encouragement to the police to assault crime suspects.

Some of the claims by opposition parties aired on MoAfrika were questionable but the government seldom used the very same radio to refute them.
On Monday ’Maseribane had pledged to help radio stations to expand their coverage, saying the government is supporting freedom of speech.
Expressing the government’s desire to ensure that all radio stations are accessible to a wide range of listeners countrywide, ’Maseribane had said “the government made a promise to help all radio stations that qualify”.

Ramainoane then told thepost that the only thing he is in dire need of is business from the government.
“I want them to give me business because expanding airwaves requires a lot of money,” he said.
Ramainoane also said his radio station reaches every district of Lesotho.

Nkheli Liphoto

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