The National Frequency Management Unit responds to the Constitutional Matter on the issuance of Radio licences
The Head of the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU), Valmiki Singh, has denied parts and admitted parts of the contentions in the Radio Licence issue before the courts brought by the Guyana Media Proprietors association (GMPA) and Kaieteur News.
The NFMU Head states that he believes that there was a written communique on a range of political issues, but Singh is contending that all of this is inadmissible hearsay. In the court documents filed on behalf of Kaieteur News and GMPA, the two parties declared that Jadgeo and Corbin agreed that no new broadcast licences will be issued until there is broadcast legislation in place. However, President Jagdeo went ahead and issued licences just before he demitted office. The licences were given to his friends and a select group of people known more for their affiliation to the President.
Valmicki Singh claims in his response to the court matter that a total of eleven entities were granted permission to broadcast what he termed sound signal and contended that he does not know what a Radio Broadcast Frequency Licence is, as referred to by GMPA and Kaieteur News.
Singh is also insisting that one licence or permission each was granted to entities controlled by Bobby Ramroop, Robert Persaud’s relatives and the ruling party’s Mirror Newspaper company, along with E-networks and Quark communications. Kaieteur News and GMPA are saying that some of these entities were allotted up to five frequencies on which they can operate Radio Stations nationally.
The radio stations licences issue created a stir earlier this year when it was finally revealed who got what frequencies by then President Jagdeo. There were protests and demands that the allocations were not done fairly or equitably and that they flew in the face of an agreement between the Government and opposition that no new licences would be issued until Broadcast legislation was in place. There are two court actions pending since the contentious issuance of the radio station licences became public.