21 radio, 6 TV stations face blackout over licence fees

17Jan 2016
Aisia Rweyemamu
Guardian On Sunday
21 radio, 6 TV stations face blackout over licence fees

The government yesterday announced that it will switch off 21 radio and six television stations for failure to pay fees for their operating licences and other taxes.

TCRA Manager of Corporate Communications, Innocent Mungy,

Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Manager of Corporate Communications, Innocent Mungy, made the announcement in Dar es Salaam, saying the authority would switch off the stations’ broadcasts today midnight.
The manager told reporters that since last year the government had reminded the stations about paying for their operating licence fees and other taxes to no avail.
Mungy said that in July, last year, the government announced the failure of 40 TV and radio stations to pay the said fees, but the call was responded to by only 27 stations.
According to him, a reminder was sent to the respective stations on September 28, last year, but they failed to meet the December deadline, with only 13 out of the 40 stations paying their fees.
“We call on all the 27 stations to voluntarily switch off their stations or settle the outstanding dues, failure of which the government would switch them off tomorrow.
He urged other radio and TV stations to operate legally by fulfilling the conditions stipulated in their operating licences.
He said the Electronic and Communication Act, 2003 allowed the Authority to switch off any station which failed to pay its fees and other charges.
“Monday, January 18, has been set as the deadline for the 27 stations to pay the fees or close down operations,” he said, adding:
“The government will continue to switch off more stations operating against the law, as well as those which fail to pay licence fees and other due charges.”
However, he would not disclose the amount the stations owed the government in operation fees, saying doing so was unethical.