Ursula Owusu to blame for StarTimes brouhaha; Kennedy Agyapong hints

Outspoken Assin Central Member of Parliament has pointed accusing fingers at the Communications  Minister for the controversies surrounding Ghana’s migration from analogue to digital television.

Kennedy Agyapong in an interaction with journalists Thursday stated that “all these” were happening because of the Minister.

“You see my members [party folk] will say that I have a slip lip. All these problems happened because of the minister, I’ll tell you, don’t push me…” Mr Agyapong lamented.

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP was speaking to journalists after a meeting between the Communications committee of Parliament and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).

 Kennedy Agyapong

GIBA went to Parliament after they accused the Communications Ministry of engaging in dealings that could cede Ghana’s broadcasting space to Chinese-owned StarTimes.

GIBA says the Ministry’s contracting of StarTimes to “enhance” a facility built by local company K-NET, could compromise local control of the platform.

But the Ministry disagrees. The Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and her deputy, George Andah have been vociferous in insisting that what StarTimes is doing is just enhancing the platform to enable it to host more channels.

They have also stated on several occasions that a local company will be set up to manage the platform and StarTimes is not the one to do that.

But experts have argued that the dealings of China on the company cannot be trusted. Besides that, GIBA is worried StarTimes will influx the media with foreign content and culture.

On Thursday, GIBA members went to Parliament, hoping to rally the support of the lawmaking body to intervene on their behalf.

The meeting according to Kennedy Agyapong, who is the chairman of the Communications Committee has been fruitful despite some earlier disagreements between him and another member of the committee, Samuel Nartey George.

“You can ask GIBA whatever decisions we took and how the deliberations went,” he said.

Mr Agyapong also indicated that the Minister will be hauled before the committee. “We decided to call the Minister herself to come and tell us what happened,” he said.

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