MAPUTO, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has urged the Higher Mass Media Council (CSCS), the constitutionally enshrined watchdog body on Press freedom and the right to information, to play a more investigative role so as to seek the causes of irregularities to enable prudent and independent decisions to be taken.

Speaking when members of the CSCS met him here Monday on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the Mozambican Press law, generally regarded as one of the most liberal, not only in Africa, but in the world, Nyusi said the Council should not only point to irregularities in how the media are operating, but seek concrete ways to remedy them.

In this cycle of governance (2015-2019), our dream is to have a CSCS as a tool working scientifically to discover the real causes (of problems in the media), and to know how to eliminate imperfections,” he added.

Nyusi noted that the exponential growth of the media in recent years had brought with it divergent editorial lines. The differences in editorial lines, he argued, should be used to build an increasingly united country but different editorial positions do not mean that ethics and responsibility should be kicked out.

Transparency, Nyusi said, did not mean either attacking or defending institutions. It means working within the bounds of reason and of the legal parameters,” he stressed.

CSCS chairperson Tomas Vieira Mario said the Council must guarantee the free expression of opinion, broad access to information, and respect for the rights and freedoms of Mozambicans. However, he stressed that the interventions of the CSCS are limited by its shortage of funds and shortage of staff.

The CSCS consists of 11 members — two appointed by the President of the Republic, four appointed by the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, three elected by the country’s journalists, one representative of media companies, and a judge chosen by the Higher Council of the Judicial Magistracy.