Daniel Miguel De Barros’ suspension was announced in a statement by the social communication ministry yesterday. Pending cabinet approval for the decision, Zain Pereira de Jesus, a relative of former Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira, has been provisionally named as his successor. All members of TGB’s board of governors have also been suspended until further notice.
“This dismissal seems designed to step up censorship of the state-owned media at a time when TGB’s journalists have been criticizing censorship,” said Assane Diagne, the head of RSF’s West Africa office.
“As a result, pluralistic news coverage will probably suffer even more. In the run-up to the 24 November presidential elections, public television in Guinea-Bissau should instead be opening up to all to political currents and should be reflecting the full diversity of opinions.”
The social communication ministry said the director-general was replaced in order to impart a “new dynamic” to the public broadcaster and to end an internal climate that was prejudicial to its work. “A climate of a lack of confidence had taken hold” within its management, the statement said.