Only 8 local journalists shall be allowed to enter state house for the state funeral while ten will be allowed to cover President Sata’s burial at Embassy Park on Tuesday.
Information and broadcasting permanent secretary Bert Mushala, made the announcement and added that only one journalist from each foreign media organization will be allowed, whatever that statement meant. On the other hand only 2,200 people shall be allowed into Embassy Park.
Digesting Mushala’s statement, it means that only three and five slots are kept for local journalists at state house and Embassy Park respectively because the state alone controls five media institutions, ZNBC radio and ZANBC TV, ZANIS, Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail. Lusaka alone has over 20 media houses while there are over 73 radio stations in the country.
This is the second major event that Zambian journalists have been looked down at, in September all private media except the Post newspaper were barred from covering the live opening of the National Assembly by Sata, while state house remained a no go area during Sata’s reign.