Member of Parliament for Kunbungu, Ras Mubarak, has said the minority in parliament is likely to drag the government to court to prevent Chinese firm StarTimes from taking over the broadcasting space as alleged by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).
Alternatively, Mr Mubarak said the minority caucus could file a question on the floor of parliament to compel the Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to provide answers relating to the matter.
The MP’s comments come on the heels of concerns raised by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) that a separate deal between the ministry and the Chinese firm to extend satellite TV to over 300 villages across the country, is being used as a conduit to hand over the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform to StarTimes to the detriment of local operators.
GIBA, in a statement, said: “The agenda of StarTimes is not only aimed at [making] profit” or “indoctrinating” Ghanaians with “Chinese culture (names, language, food, etc.) and programmes”, but involves “a larger mandate to take over the control of the broadcast space in strategic African countries including Ghana, which is crucial for the China game”.
Speaking on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM with show host Katakyie Obeng Mensah on Monday, 24 September, Mr Mubarak, who is also serving on parliament’s select committee on communication, said the ministry had kept the committee in the dark as far as the deal is concerned.
“The committee is completely in the dark as far as this deal is concerned. All the documents we have received we got them from somewhere and not the ministry,” he said.
He added: “You wonder whether this government is serious about the interest of Ghanaians. Because you want money to do the Eastern Corridor road, StarTimes should be given this contract; is that what they are telling us?”
When asked what the minority would do in relation to this development, Mr Mubarak said: “We could file a question on the floor of parliament or we could also go to court.”