Friday, August 11, 2017

Sassou Nguesso's Media Obsession: Vision 4 TV and Africanews

Controlling pan African media

Before Africa 24 TV that is based in France could come and cover the March 20th 2016 presidential election, the Congolese government, I was told, owed the French based pan African TV broadcaster the sum of FCFA 1 billion for unpaid adverts. This information was disclosed to me by a management staff that is not authorized to speak to the Press. It is therefore certain that, in order for the French based pan African TV station, Africa 24 to come and cover the March 20th 2016 presidential election and promotes the country as a “paragon of democracy and respect for human rights”; the Congolese government must have settled its past debts and paid another an undisclosed lump sum. Not satisfied with the publicity she received from Africa 24, the Congolese ruling family and government, also paid the sum of FCFA 700 million to Amougou Belinga, in order for the owner of Vision 4 TV  Cameroonian based TV station to come open a subsidiary in Brazzaville for the promotion of Denis Sassou Nguesso, his family and government. Mr Amougou Belinga is the owner Anecdote Media Group and Vision 4 TV is a subsidiary of the group. Mr Amougou Belinga is not only an assertive pro-government media mogul, he also boast around or tells anybody who cares to listen that, support for his Anecdote Media Group comes from Cameroon’s minister of Justice and keeper of the seals, Laurent Esso. After controlling the media at home, in Francophone Africa, the ruling Nguesso family decided to strike a great coup by bringing the pan European TV, Euronews in Congo Brazzaville through its subsidiary, Africanews.

Media Obsession

The grand question that most Congo or Nguesso family observers have always asked is this: why are Sassou Nguesso and his family so obsess with media propaganda? The answer is not farfetched. The plan of the regime is to transform Congo into a pan African and international media hub. Hence besides Vision 4 TV that they courted to open shop in Brazzaville, the same proposals was made to Africa 24, Vox Africa and an obscure TV station called UBIZNEWS managed by Alain Mevegue, a staff of France 24. As far as Euronews is concern, they were paid an unspecified sum to convince the Lyon based pan European TV to open its Africa subsidiary, Africanews in Congo.  To entice the pan European TV to stay in a country where there is no freedom of speech, the government is building them an 8 storey building in the heart of Brazzaville to serve as headquarters of Africanews besides state financial subvention. Their ultra modern building will be located along the aptly called Boulevard Denis Sassou Nguesso and which is not far from the private home of Sassou Nguesso located at Mpila, Saint Denis.  Why are they spending large sum of money on the press at home and abroad? It is first to improve their filthy image and second: to hide its appalling human rights abuses and corruption at home.  

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