TCRA imposes 12m/- fine on Clouds FM

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AS officials from the Fire and Rescue Force were working hard to extinguish fire at Clouds Media Group’s building yesterday morning, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) ordered the group’s radio station, Clouds FM, to pay a fine of 12m/- for contravening broadcast content regulations.

In what can be termed as a double tragedy, fire erupted at the company’s building paralysing operations at the television and radio stations on a day it faced a penalty from the communication’s watchdog.

TCRA also ordered the radio station to offer an apology over one of its programmes for three consecutive days beginning yesterday.

Speaking at a news conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the TCRA’s content Vice Chairman, Mr Joseph Mapunda, said in its various programmes aired by Clouds FM, the radio station’s presenters blatantly disregarded the broadcasting ethics and regulations by using indecent language as well as invasion of privacy.

According to Mr Mapunda, on September 6, 2017, during its renowned programme XXL, a presenter recorded and aired a voice clip of an interview between him and a mother of a prominent model, Hamisa Mobeto, without her consent.

Hamisa’s mother had warned the programme host to refrain from airing that interview. The radio station will have to pay 2m/- as a fine for this.

Again on September, 19, 2017 during its ‘Jahazi’ programme on the ‘Mastory ya Town’ segment, a presenter of the programme, Ephraim Kibonde, took time to discuss love affairs between a prominent artiste, Diamond Platinums and a model, Hamisa Mobeto.

This was done in a manner that violated the Content Act of 2005 which stipulates that every licensee shall ensure that the programme and its presentation uphold national values.

On this mistake, TCRA ordered the radio station to pay 5m/-.

Also, during the same Programme on July 24, 2017, the same presenter on the ‘Najua Wajua’ segment used a vulgar language during which children were able to tune and listen to the station, while knowing that it was contrary to the content regulations and the radio management will have to pay 5m/- for the mishap.

TCRA’s content committee summoned the radio presenters and the management of Clouds Media Group and that the management admitted to have contravened the content regulations and apologised for the professional mistakes.

However, the committee Vice Chairman said the company’s management has 30 days to file their appeal to the Fair Competition Tribunal in case it is not satisfied with the TCRA verdict.

TCRA’s consumer complaint guidelines specify the grounds for appeal, as well as the remedies that the Fair Competition Tribunal may order. The guidelines also set out procedural requirements for lodging complaints with the TCRA.

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