Administrative Court hears anew case between Bonesha FM radio and CNC

On July 29th, Bujumbura Administrative Court has held again a public hearing of a trial opposing Bonesha FM radio and Burundi Media Regulator-CNC.

Léon Masengo says CNC is distracting the court by putting forward the idea of deadlines

In its decision of 23 July 2019, the Administrative Court of Bujumbura decided to reopen hearings on the case opposing Bonesha FM radio and CNC. The last hearings were held on June 24th and the case was adjourned for further deliberation. The court’s decision announced that “the reopening of the hearings was mandatory” as one member of the jury no longer works in the same court.

“We have been surprised to be summoned again for a new public hearing whereas the case had already been adjourned for deliberation,” says Léon Masengo, Director of Bonesha FM radio.
It was an opportunity to ask the court to review our case carefully, he adds.
At the hearing, Mr. Masengo said Bonesha officials want the court to understand the reason why they have brought the case to court.

CNC lawyer has said Bonesha radio appealed against CNC decision after the legal deadline.
“CNC is distracting the court by putting forward the idea of deadlines,” he told journalists adding that Bonesha officials met the legal deadline to appeal against the decision of CNC.
Mr. Masengo says it has been almost a year since they took the case to the Administrative Court. However, “we believe that we will soon regain our full rights,” he adds.

Bonesha FM radio appealed against CNC decision on March 10, 2018. The decision they protested against was taken during the General Assembly of CNC held from 22 to 23 February 2018.

Mr. Masengo says the decision they appealed against concerns the refusal to grant Bonesha FM radio the authorization to operate again in the country. “Our file was in accordance with the press law,” he says adding that CNC asked them to present the certificate of non-prosecution which is not required anywhere to set up a radio station.