Mozambique: President Nyusi Swears in Members of Mass Media Council

President Filipe Nyusi on 11 March stressed that the task of the Higher Mass Media Council (CSCS) is to defend press freedom and the right of citizens to information.

He was speaking after swearing into office four members of the CSCS – these were the representative of media companies, Jose Guerra, and members chosen by the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Carmen dos Santos, Sauzande Jeque and Florentina Escova. The first two were appointed by the parliamentary group of Frelimo, and the third by the main opposition party Renamo.

The CSCS is a watchdog body set up under the Mozambican constitution. The constitution states that it must “ensure the independence of the mass media, in the exercise of the right to information and freedom of the press”. It also ensures respect for the right or reply, and broadcasting time for political parties.

The CSCS should also be consulted before the government appoints directors of the publicly owned media, and before private television and radio channels are licensed.

This body has 11 members – two appointed by the President, four elected by the Assembly, three representatives of journalists, one representative of media companies, and a judge appointed by the Supreme Council of the Judicial Magistracy (CSMJ).

At the ceremony, President Nyusi urged the CSCS to ensure that journalists and media companies can freely collect, process and disseminate information of public interest. The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution, he said, “will only be fully exercised with truly balanced information, which includes currents of opinions from all the relevant parties”.

The media should, however, respect the right of citizens to their privacy, to their honour and to their good name, as stipulated in the relevant legislation, he added.

Source: All Africa