THE National Broadcasting Board (NBB) has asserted that it has jurisdiction over both licensed and unlicenced broadcasters operating in Botswana, writes Ephraim Keoreng in Mmegi.

Responding to Mmegi queries NBB board member Dr Thulaganyo Mogobe said that according to the Broadcasting Act's section 10, a) and b) the NBB's functions include;

"* to issue broadcasting licences; * to exercise control over and to supervise broadcasting activities, including the relaying of radio and television programmes from places in and out of Botswana to places in and outside Botswana," he said quoting the section.

This week, Department of Broadcasting Service (DBS) director Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo suggested that the jurisdiction of the NBB was limited to broadcasters licensed by the body. Kaboeamodimo was responding to an NBB ruling where the former was found in breach of the NBB Code of Conduct for Broadcasters during Elections for airing a political broadcast by Botswana Democratic Party president Ian Khama. In the response, Kaboeamodimo argues that the state broadcasters – Botswana Television (Btv) and Radio Botswana (RB) – which aired the broadcasts respect the mandate of the NBB's supervisory role, and acknowledge the NBB's authority over the conduct of broadcasters through the issuance of broadcasting licences by the board," he adding that since the two government bodies are not licenced they would seek to find a way to negotiate with the NBB.

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