DRC pulls plug on StarTimes
September 5, 2014
By Chris Forrester
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has decided that that StarTimes’ is not yet ready to broadcast in the country. On August 29th we reported that a dispute between two of the Congo’s government department had left StarTimes in potential hot water.
On the one hand there’s the head of the Congo’s Post & Telecoms Ministry, Kin-Kiey Mulumba, who is accusing the Chinese-owned broadcaster of “operating illegally” in the country. His comments are being challenged by the government’s Media Minister Lambert Mende, who is supporting StarTimes’ presence in the country.
Mulumba’s ministry accuses Chinese-owned StarTimes of operating illegally in the country, of “hijacking” frequencies and claiming to be using DTT (digital technology television), while in fact DTT is non-existent in the DRC.
Mulumba’s ministry has seemingly won the battle and ordered StarTimes off the air and revoking its licence. Mulumba has long accused StarTimes of violating Section 17.3 of the telecommunications law No013/2002 of October 16th 2002, which stipulates that all broadcasters apply for a valid licence before operating in the country.