Media manager suspended over serious professional gaps
Written by: George Kalisa
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018, 23:36
Stanley Gatera, the Managing Director of umusingi.org, an online media house, has been suspended for three months this Tuesday for serious violations of professional ethics, Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) announced.
Britta Konitzer, a Germany investor who heads the Saving's Banks Foundation for International Cooperation which funds the Association of Micro-finance in Rwanda (AMIR) had sought the arbitration of Rwanda’s media self-regulatory body after the Umusingi had published a story that carried defamatory allegations against her.
Konitzer claimed that she was not given enough space in a story that implicated her in complicity of a rape case of her employee.
Request by the RMC to Mr. Gatera to apologise to her accuser and remove the story from the Umusingi website hit a deadlock leading to the ruling.
“We after giving both a fair hearing requested Mr. Gatera to apologize and withdraw the controversial story that Britta Konitzer said was utter blackmail, he did not heed to our advice and we painfully take the decision to suspend him for three months,” said Cleophas Barore, the Chairman of RMC.
Edmund Kagire a member of the arbitration committee remarked, “Gatera committed ethical mistakes and adamantly never heeded to our advice.
Besides accusing the foreign investor of complicity in rape case and arrest of AMIR employee John Peter Rwema, Gatera allegedly produced the rape victim’s photo carrying a baby, which he claims he got from internet. Rwema is serving six years in prison for rape.
Gatera who claims he was given unfair hearing told the Light Magazine that he deliberately refused to remove his story from the website because his conviction based on investigation shows Konitzer concocted facts that led to the conviction of Rwema whom according to Gatera had serious disagreements over conditions related to business partnership with the investor.
Gatera who was dissatisfied by the ruling told media said that, “I deliberately refused to withdraw the story and to apologize because I am convinced my sources are credible and I appealed though they have denied it.”
In 2012, the Gasabo Intermediate Court sentenced Gatera to one year in prison with Rwf30, 000 in fines for inciting divisionism and gender discrimination.