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Journalist suspended for three months, programme cancelled over "inappropriate remarks"

(JED/IFEX) - On 23 May 2008, Eddy Abasiko Mango, a journalist with the Kisangani-based station of state-owned Radio Télévision Nationale Congolaise (RTNC), was suspended for three months by Bwande Bwanapuwa, the station's provincial manager, for hosting a programme where guests criticised the provincial governor.

In his 21 May political programme called "Loba Toyoka" (Speak and You Will Be Heard), the journalist conducted an interview with two businessmen, Mapela and Mosindo Soleil, who are also members of the ruling party, Parti du Peuple Pour la Reconstruction et le Développement (PPRD), during which his guests deplored the chronic lack of electricity and high unemployment rate, and criticised "the unrestrained pursuit of personal interests by certain politicians in Kisangani."

Following the programme, the station's provincial manager was summoned to the provincial governor's office. Upon his return from the meeting, he suspended the journalist and cancelled the programme for "tolerating remarks that are contrary to RTNC's editorial guidelines."

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