The Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) has temporarily shut Voice FM 102.7 Radio Station for its “failure to obtain operating permit over the last couple of years.”Speaking at a special press briefing held yesterday at the Information Ministry on Capitol Hill, Monrovia, acting LTA chairperson Henry W. Benson told journalists, “Voice FM has been operating as a commercial station without a permit for couple of years now. We tried to unsuccessfully to guide them through the right process of securing legitimate status through meetings of which they attended some and most were not,” Commissioner Benson said. “People continue to take the airwaves without any regard; LTA sees that as a clear violation, for which the LTA was established by law to regulate and will continue to do so. We have effectively shut down a radio station, beginning with Voice FM 102.7 and more to come, because we have to show that there is law and order in Liberia,” he declared.Commissioner Benson said 102.7 frequency was legitimately secured in 2012 by Liberia Web Radio, a non-commercial station which fulfilled all the requirements to operate in Liberia. Woods Nyanton, Co-host of the Costa Show on Voice FM, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the LTA was in an error to disclose that the organization is operating without permit.He said the Ministry of Information has set up a difficult process just to ensure that we don’t get a permit and the LTA needed to clearly tell the people of Liberia that, despite efforts made and readiness demonstrated by Voice FM to pay the require tax to government, the Ministry ofInformation has decided not give permit to Voice FM.“We are in partnership with the Liberia Web Radio, the official owner of the frequency of 102.7 and there are legal documents to prove that. We have been behind the government to regularize our status but MICAT has set up a difficult process because we are critical of the government and the people of Liberia can attest to that,” Mr. Nyanton said.According to Benson, LTA has noticed over the years that people have come with no regard for the LTA and the Ministry of Information who are responsible to give clearances for establishing radio stations.“We at the LTA do not have the authority to close or shut down stations,” Benson said. “We made our case to the Justice Ministry, who scrutinized our processes and saw merit in our case to clear the airwaves of stations operating without proper assigned frequencies. This is a national security measure. This is also a measure to make available scarce frequency to applicants who follow the right procedure,” Commissioner Benson said. He explained that after going through couple of years of regularizing the country’s airwaves, most especially radio stations and television stations, the LTA has asked the Ministry of Justice through the court to shut down some radio stations and television stations.“It doesn’t mean well for anyone to come from anywhere and open a radio station and say anything he or she wants to say without any authorization from the regulating body of the government,” he said.“All we ask is, make sure that your station is regularized, because you are responsible for what you say, despite by law and by the objective of journalism,” Benson said, adding that, “We have come here to inform you that LTA is the institution established by this government to manage and effectively look after in terms of superintending the airwaves we enjoy. Every communication in this country, including radio stations, television stations and every thing that have to do with communication be regulated by LTA.” In addition to the closure, the Civil Law Court summoned Voice FM for declaratory judgment to appear later this month.The writ of summons said “You are hereby commanded to appear before the Civil Law Court to answer to the petition of the above-named in petition of declaratory judgment. To notify the respondent that upon their failure to do so, judgment will be rendered by default against them.”According to him, after few hours, one of the sheriffs and other men wearing plain clothes entered the Voice FM facility and took away some materials belonging to the station, using a white pickup.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Despite being mum on the allegations of sexual harassment by one of its staff members, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) has moved to tackle the issue of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.The Cheddi Jagan International AirportA section of the CJIA management team at the consultation sessionIn a statement to the media on Tuesday, the CJIA said the exercise, which commenced on Friday last, is in keeping with the commitment made by its board of directors.At Friday’s meeting, the administration of the CJIA said its board of directors took steps to immediately tackle the workplace culture, to ensure that the CJIA, as a workplace, is safe for all, especially for women and other vulnerable social groups.This decision came in the wake of public allegations of sexual misconduct taking place at the airport. The management team of the CJIA participated in the first consultation session with the two consultants who have been contracted to review all policies, protocols, regulations, and practices that govern conduct and engagements in the workplace, and to conduct workshops with the employees.The CJIA board has retained the services of Social Work Educator and Behaviour Change Consultant Paulette Henry, and Human Resource Management Specialist Donna Tucker, the statement said.“The board remains committed to making all necessary and recommended changes, to ensure that the workplace at CJIA is transformed, both for the safety of all employees and to reflect contemporary best,” the statement added.The CJIA Board has said the interventions reflected its deep concern about the allegations of sexual misconduct recently published in the news media.“The CJIA Board condemns any behaviour which creates an unsafe environment for staff, concessionaires, contractors, suppliers, and passengers using CJIA. The Board is fully committed to ensuring that the CJIA is a safe workplace for all, especially (for) women and other vulnerable social groups,” the board said in a statement last week.As such, the Board has called for an immediate review of all policies, protocols, regulations, and practices that govern conduct and engagements in the workplace, and has taken steps to hire external consultants and specialists to conduct the reviews.In addition, training will be provided for all persons who work at the Airport, including staff at all levels and persons working at the Airport on behalf of other agencies and companies.“The Board wishes to assure the public that all allegations of improper conduct will be taken seriously, and there will be prompt investigation. The Board will ensure that there is follow-through on any investigations that are conducted, and any allegation that is found to be credible will result in the immediate appropriate action (being taken),” the entity noted.Meanwhile, the CJIA Board expects to have the external human resources management and gender affairs consultants in place by month end.It was reported that the sexual assault incident occurred in the office of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer on July 30, 2018 while the duty-free staff was in a meeting with him.The victim claimed that she was hugged inappropriately, and kissed on her lips by the senior official. In her complaint letter tendered the day after the incident, which was seen by this newspaper, the woman explained that she went to the Deputy Chief Executive Officer to have an issue with her boss’s vehicle resolved.Following the accusation, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer was sent on one week’s leave to facilitate an investigation.A Police source confirmed that the official has been placed on $20,000 station bail as they continue to investigate the matter.