The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has engaged MISA Zambia and the Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) to carry out a media monitoring project for the Zambia 2011 elections.
But the BBC is keeping its name out of the limelight.
Both MISA and PAZA are broke as they have been facing difficulties accessing donor funding due to financial irregularities in MISA and poor governance in PAZA where there has been no elections for almost 10 years now.
The BBC in July, 2011 won a tender from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for elections support inZambia.
The Watchdog is reliably informed that this is the money the BBC has used to hire MIZA and PAZA as fronts or partners.
It is not clear why the BBC is operating from the background. It is understood that the two BBC project managers who are in the country do not even want their names mentioned anywhere.
The two however are controlling the project which has selected ZNBC channels, Radio Phoenix, Muvi TV, Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and Post Newspapers for monitoring.
The idea is to monitor how well, in terms of accuracy and objectivity the named media organisations will cover the elections.
With the funding from BBC, MISA Zambia Chairperson Daniel Sikazwe found his voice and was heard saying the media is critical to providing information about the elections, the candidates, parties and their policies, so that decision can be made by Zambians.
Sikazwe also said ethical conduct by journalists is a must during this year’s general elections.