[UPDATED]: RMC chairperson resigns

Fred Muvunyi, the Chairperson of Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), the media self regulatory body stepped down yesterday.

Fred Muvunyi, the Chairperson of Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), the media self regulatory body stepped down yesterday.

Muvunyi tendered his resignation in an email to the board.

“I have a pleasure to inform you of my decision to step down as the Chairman of Rwanda media Commission. During my tenure, I have enjoyed to work with a brave team like you. It was a short period but it brought lots of experience and hurdles,” reads the email a copy of which The New Times obtained.

Muvunyi further added in his email that; “I have seen RMC growing and building up the trust among media stakeholders. Keep the momentum and good work you have been doing.”

Although Muvunyi did not specify exact reasons behind his resignation, the email was sent a day after he and his board were locked in a meeting for several hours.

RMC Board members who spoke to The New Times, said they were not happy with the decisions made without their consent.

“We met and discussed the manner in which decisions were made and indeed we realized something wasn’t right on our side,” said Prince Bahati, a board member of RMC who is also Managing Director of Voice of Hope Radio.

Muvunyi was elected chairperson in September 2013 with a mandate of three years. 

Another board member, Marie Immaculee Ingabire, who is also the chairperson of Transparency International – Rwanda, reiterated that the Board faulted Muvunyi for single handedly taking decisions on their behalf without consulting the board.

“This was one of the issues we talked about during the Monday meeting; there are many decisions that he took but one of them is about the state of the media report which was done on behalf of RMC without our knowledge. The idea of the report is good and we really like it but we have unanswered questions about it.”

“We don’t want people to take decisions on behalf of RMC and impose things we don’t know about; the report was not in the action plan, we don’t know how the consultant who did it was hired and his terms of reference, we were not informed, these are some of the issues we should have been consulted,” she said.

Local journalists are expected to meet and decide on whether to elect a chairperson for the self regulatory body for the remaining mandate or to have an acting chairperson from the existing board until the end of the term.

In the interim, the commission's vice-chair Cleophas Barore will be acting chairperson pending elections.

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