KIGALI - The Media High Council has called upon all media organs that have not fully registered as stipulated in the new media law, to do so by Friday July 18, or face not being registered, making them illegal.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the Chairman of MHC, Arthur Asiimwe, said that ever since MHC made the call a year ago, only six newspapers and six radio stations have fulfilled all requirements needed for registration.
He said that whereas some had partially submitted the requirements, there are others that have failed to comply completely.
“We have been very lenient on this issue for a long time. As MHC, we have decided to give another week to media practitioners. By next Friday, all media bodies must send in required documents that will permit them to practice legally,” Asiimwe told the attending journalists.
Asiimwe added that failure to comply will make it illegal for unregistered bodies to practice journalism in the country and if they insist, will be prosecuted.
Patrice Mulama, Executive Secretary of MHC, said that the initiative is aimed at professionalizing media by streamlining all practitioners to conform to the standards of professional journalism.
“Some media bodies are owned and operated by a single individual and don’t have a consistent pattern of production. Some have even taken years without printing anything, so we don’t know whether they are still in business,” Mulama said.
“Registration of media practitioners will also help us to know how many media bodies are still in operation”.
At the press conference, Mulama congratulated the companies that had complied by fully registering and presented them with clearance documents.