Media house managers living abroad called to abide by law

Nestor Bankumukunzi, chairman of the National Media Regulator-CNC says correspondences will be submitted to media houses whose managers have been living abroad for a long time. “It’s against the law and it is a flaw that must be corrected,” he says.

Nestor Bankumukunzi: “We will make sure the law is enforced”

The chairman of CNC says this after a two-day meeting held by the members of the media regulator on media house activities for the past three months.

He has said, without naming those media houses that the concerned directors must comply with the law. “Otherwise, we will make sure the law is enforced,” he says.

Nestor Bankumukunzi insists on the non-observance of the law as the current press law states that any director of a press agency operating in Burundi must be living in Burundi. “It is legal for those which have directors ad-interim but the latter are limited,” he says.

He also says that if a director can spend six months abroad, the acting director should be confirmed and that would not cause any problem: “If the director comes back, he can still take over”.

He, however, says this is problematic when a director has spent one, two, or more years abroad. “The interim director is somewhat limited in decision-making. He is also unable to respond to some questions raised by the national media regulator,” he says.

The media situation in Burundi has been critical ever since the May 2015 coup attempt and this has caused dozens of journalists to flee the country.