Rwanda: Rwanda Government Broadcaster ORINFOR To Change Name
Kigali: Government broadcaster ORINFOR will change the name and reform operations within two years – after President Kagame furiously lashed out at the large company – even demanding an apology from its former boss.
Comprising Radio Rwanda, TV Rwanda and two newspapers, the broadcaster will within the same period reform its operations to be more responsive to the needs the taxpayers, according to its acting Director General, Mr. Willy Rukundo.
He said Tuesday that the changes will come with a new name.
[New name disclosed as “Rwanda Broadcasting Network“]
President Paul Kagame has repeatedly complained publicly about the performance of the broadcaster – at some point saying it is either marred in with “incompetence or ineffectiveness …or both”, and demanded an apology from its former Managing Director Mr. Bideri Joseph.
“I can smell something wrong but can’t name it”, Mr. Kagame told journalists last year. “ORINFOR had always had something smelling in it but all have failed to clean it up.”
The company has also been heavily criticized by Parliament which says people in far-rural areas do not understand any government programs because they can only access foreign media. Lawmakers also say the situation has compounded the increasing levels of Genocide revisionism in these areas as communities remained neglected.
ORINFOR is also under fire from the Auditor General of State Finances over its books of accounts. In the latest report for 2008 released last month, the Government Auditor described its finances as “scandalous”.
Despite having a printery, its French and Kinyarwanda newspapers barely get to the streets. Plans to make the Kinyarwanda IMVAHO NSHYA daily seem to have stalled.
TV Rwanda struggles to stay on air with dwindling audiences as more shift to watching satellite TV.
With a $13million government injection, the company is now working on an expansion program. President Kagame suggested that its troubles could be related to the name, demanding that it be renamed.
ORINFOR was established about five decades ago as an agency for government announcements – but has largely remained with the same legacy.
Its former boss Mr. Oscar Kimanuka is battling a corruption and embezzlement sentence.
Announcing changes which have already taken effect, current chief, Mr. Rukundo said Wednesday that a website (http://www.orinfor.gov.rw) is up and running with live radio streaming and TV broadcasts.
ARI-RNA – rnanews.com