Mozambique Government repeals decree setting absurd media fees
MISA Mozambique welcomes the decision of the Council of Ministers to repeal decree no. 40/2018, which sets fees and fines due for licensing services, renewal, registration, advertising inserts by the print, radio and television media, including digital platforms, as well as accreditation and accreditation of journalists and national and foreigners correspondents, and autonomous collaborators, in Mozambique.
The decree was approved by the Government, without prior consultation with the media, media organisations and journalists themselves.
On 14 August last year, civil society organizations, representatives of media organisations and journalists, namely MISA Mozambique, Association of Journalistic Companies, National Forum of Community Radios, Centre for Public Integrity, Mozambican Bar Association and the Emergency Committee for the Protection of Fundamental Freedoms, submitted a petition, under the legal sponsorship of the Honourable Ombudsman, for a declaration of the unconstitutionality of the aforementioned decree.
On the same occasion, in addition to calling for its repeal by the Government, the group argued that the decree breached a number of fundamental rights, such as freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the right to information, as well as putting at risk the survival of the media, with greater severity for the community media, which has served as a voice for communities, and in many cases the only means of information available at a community level.
MISA called on groups which are friendly to press freedom at the time to make efforts in the fight for the protection of freedom of expression and of the press, as well as to establish permanent contacts for all situations arising in the context of Decree 40/2018.
MISA Mozambique considers that the Government’s decision represents recognition of the legitimacy of these concerns, made within the framework of the Democratic Rule of Law and in defence of the principles of pluralism and diversity in the media sector in Mozambique.
MISA Mozambique takes this opportunity to express its willingness to collaborate, where necessary, for the prevalence of an environment of freedom in the country, allowing citizens to continue to have access to diverse information of quality provided through multiple channels, and always in compliance with the law and respect for the dignity of citizens.
Ernesto C. Nhanale
Mobile number: +258 82 3071813 or +258 82 843171813
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.