Radio Kintoma, a community radio station in Voinjama, northern Liberia has now resumed broadcast following days of shutdown as a result of an alleged arson attack on its premises.
Tokpa Tarnue, the Station Manager confirmed the resumption of regular broadcast on a temporary 500 watts transmitter.
In the early hours of April 23, fire gutted the station, from an unknown source. Responders to the outbreak failed to extinguish the fire resulting in the burning of equipment and other assets of the broadcaster.
The actual cause of the incident is unknown, but the station manager Mr. Tarnue maintained that there was no current in the entire building when it was gutted by fire.
According to him, this not the first time, and therefore called for thorough investigation into the matter to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice in order to avoid the repeated recurrence.
Local law enforcement officers are presently investigating the tragic and unfortunate attack on the independent media entity.
“Our focus now is for the station to be back on the air especially this current bi election time,” he stated.
According to him, their current work is a short term and or temporary one to get the station back on the air while their long-term plan will be to rebuild the entire burned building.
Mr. Tarnue has so far commended all those who have contributed initially to the station.
Even though the temporary work to ensure that the station is back on the air, the station manager disclosed that payments and or contributions towards the long-term plan of reconstructing the entire building is going on very slowly.
Since the alleged arson attack, there have been barrage of condemnations from the public including the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) as well as other stakeholders within the sector regarding the incident.
The duty technician of the station put the cost of the temporary work to resume regular broadcast of the station at over US$3,000.
Lofa County is preparing for a contentious by-election that is a result of the blocking of J. Brownie Samukai from being installed as senator of Lofa County after he was convicted of stealing the Armed Forces of Liberia providence fund while serving as Minister of National Defense.
A Senatorial candidate, Momo Cyrus contributed half of the amount (US$1,5000) to the management of the station when he paid an emergency visit to the management of the station after the arson attack.
Mr. Cyrus also promised ten bundles of zinc to the station when construction of the new building kicks off.
This is the second time in six weeks that a radio station in Lofa has suffered an arson attack. On Saturday, March 5, 2022, Radio Tamba-tiakor in Foya was attacked by unknown individuals in Foya. The arson attack left the station’s only motorbike completely burned.