Govt blames media for misconstruction of the PURA press release

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By Sanna Camara

the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure has described the claims of Gambia government reported moves to block Skype, Viber as “a complete misconstruction of the press release communicated by PURA.”

In yet a another statement issued yesterday evening, the ministry said the said press release was issued “in the regulator’s bid to stop the massive loss of revenue to registered internet suppliers by the criminal unscrupulous individuals who use and Internet cafes that charge the unwitting public for international calls.”

“Contrary to local press and cyber publications that the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has banned the use of Skype and Viber facilities in The Gambia, the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure has described the claim as a complete misconstruction of the press release communicated by PURA… ,“ the statement said.

Below is the full text of the release:

The Government of The Gambia is calling on citizens of The Gambia to continue to enjoy Skype to reach their loved ones at home and abroad. Contrary to local press and cyber publications that the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has banned the use of Skype and Viber facilities in The Gambia, the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure has described the claim as a complete misconstruction of the press release communicated by PURA in the regulator’s bid to stop the massive loss of revenue to registered internet suppliers by the criminal unscrupulous individuals who use and Internet cafes that charge the unwitting public for international calls.

In the bid to protect consumers and the national interest, PURA have found it necessary to draw the attention of all operators of Internet cafes of the criminal act that deprives registered internet service providers of revenue vital to their operations and to the revenue of the national treasury.

Individuals can continue to use Skype or Viber on their personal devises in the enjoyment of the Gambia’s full integration into the ICT culture. The regulator and other concerned units of government are investigating these individuals and Internet cafe owners in order to put in place measures to protect our young users from entrapments of online dating services which leave our vulnerable citizens to pornographic sites, paedophilia, child-trafficking and sex tourism. 

The Ministry urges all media whose publications have misunderstood this to do the right thing in service to their country and to their readership to re-read the PURA press release, publish retractions, and report correctly on the intervention by the national regulator to protect citizens and a fair business environment in The Gambia.

 

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