MPs bemoan deplorable state of TBC

09May 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
MPs bemoan deplorable state of TBC

MEMBERS of Parliament yesterday expressed fear that the state owned Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), saying it was in a deplorable state, calling on the government to increase funding for the national broadcaster.

DR AYUB RIOBA

They argued that private owned media houses had filled the skies with improved broadcasting techniques while TBC, run by the public coffers money is on its knees.

Some argue that both national radio and television signals are not in all corners of the country, and residents in the most border points listen to radios from the neighbouring countries, questioning the kind of equipment used by TBC.

Speaking while contributing to the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports 2017/18 ministerial budget estimates, the law makers called on the government to equip the state owned media house with modern equipment to help it cope with the technological changes.

“Why is private media doing great while TBC that is run by public funds is almost collapsing?” queried Mpwapwa MP, George Lubeleje (CCM), stating that the government should increase funding for TBC.

He noted in the past he had the opportunity to visit all the nation’s broadcaster regional offices which were in appalling state which called for serious attention.

The long serving MP noted that even the state broadcaster’s staff were not in good state, challenging the government to improve their welfare in efforts to curb mass exodus of staff to the private media.

Ubungo MP, Saed Kubenea (CHADEMA) argued that TBC still used old technologies and outdated equipment, warning that the government should not blame the current management for anything if it cannot empower the once vibrant media house.

He argued that TBC had produced some of the best broadcasters in the country and beyond, saying that at present its legacy had changed completely.

The opposition legislator took on the minister for saying that 90 per cent of television broadcasters in the country were not qualified for their jobs.

He noted that sometimes having clean certificates or good educational qualification is not a guarantee for ones exemplary performance at work.

“I wonder why the minister instead of putting good working environment for broadcasters like those at TBC he is questioning academic qualifications,” he said.

While tabling the 2017/18 ministerial budget estimates late last week, Minister for Information told the House that at least 90 per cent of journalists working in television stations in the country did not have professional qualifications.

He said the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) while conducting broadcasting quality of service inspection proved that most staff in television stations were less qualified for their positions.

But Kubenea, a former journalist at Mwanahalisi newspaper reminded the minister that despite having recognition as a journalist, the minister only practiced journalism after completion high school education and without any training in media.

He also noted that media in the country was under a serious threat from the government officials which put in jeopardy, the good work done by journalists in the country.

Kubenea blamed the minister for not working on what he termed as the ‘Nape Report’ on midnight raid at Clouds television by the Dar es Salaam regional commissioner.

Norman Sigala, the Makete MP (CCM) also dwelt on the need to empower the TBC, saying there is no way the corporation can move out of the current situation without government support.

Special Seats MP, Aida Khenani, while scouting for the state medium’s support also blamed TBC for unfair coverage of the opposition politicians as well lack of Parliament’s live coverage.

“ It is unfair that the president, who was elected by fellow Tanzanians just like Members of the Parliament is often given live coverage while MPs who represent them directly had been denied coverage in the National Assembly,” she noted.

The Temeke MP, Abdallah Mtolea (CUF) took issue with recent fake news announced by TBC, that US President, Donald Trump had talked to his Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli on phone.

He argued that such things only make the public loose trust with the state television and turn to privately owned televisions.

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