Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Congo Brazzaville: names of media houses controlled by Denis Sassou Nguesso

Sponsoring & investing in media locally

In Congo, the government through the Nguessos is in control of the state owned electronic media: radio and television abbreviated CNRTV and the Print media: La Nouvelle Republique, which is officially the national daily. The particularity of La Nouvelle Republique is as already mentioned, is that, its publications or periodicity are irregular. Furthermore, what passes for privately owned media houses: print and electronic: MNTV, Top TV, Vox Congo, ESTV, DRTV and TPT Pointe Noire are either owned by the brother, son, daughter, nephews of the President of the Republic or Army Generals, government ministers and people who are close to the regime.  It is the same situation with print media Houses: Le Patriote and Le Troubadour that are everything but private.  The first is owned by the political adviser to the President and the second by General Jean Francois Ndenguet.

Investing in western media: France

Since they (the Nguessos) have total and complete control over internal or local media, they are now attempting to control foreign print and electronic media. Hence the Congolese government is investing massively through advertorials in pan African French language magazine: Jeune Afrique or purely French newspapers such as Le Figaro or Ouest France. In a bid to further affirm the regime and family control or influence within French media landscape, it is claimed in Brazzaville that, Sassou Nguesso has shares in two major French newspapers: Le Monde and Nouvelle Observateur. How possible? That is what I have tried while still in Congo to find out. However, those circulating the latter news have it that, Sassou Nguesso bought shares in Le Monde and Nouvelle Observateur, through Mathieu Pigasse. Mr Mathieu Pigasse is the nephew of Jean Paul Pigasse, the manager of ADIAC media Group. However, I have not been able to  independently confirm the latter mentioned information, that is why, even though in Brazzaville there are elements of truths in most rumours, I can only by the time of writing this section, refer to Sassou Nguesso’s ownership of shares in the aforementioned two prestigious French newspapers as mere rumours. However, Mathieu Pigasse, who is a banker, is as already mentioned, rumored to be among people along with Moussa Yaya, who assisted Congo to doctor its statistics in a bid to qualify her for the Highly Poor and Indebted Countries Programme.  In Brazzaville, as at when I was still there, several questions were posed by citizens, regarding Mathieu Pigasse.  Some the questions asked were: Where did Mathieu Pigasse get money to buy controlling shares in two major newspapers in France?  Was it even true that, he had shares in Le Monde and Nouvelle Observateur? If he has shares in those two French newspapers, did he buy them with proceeds from services rendered to the government of Congo, as was done or offered to Moussa Yaya, through licenses awarded to Kontinent in the areas of oil exploration and Telecommunications? 

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