Even the trapped Chilean miners were captured on video, how about Sata- Sakwiba Sikota


Modern and advanced technology have allowed us to watch fantastic pictures live like the recent diving in October2012 of extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner who landed safely on Earth after a 24-mile jump from the stratosphere in a dramatic, daring feat that may also have marked the world’s first supersonic skydive.

At Baumgartner’s insistence, some 30 cameras recorded the event live.

I also remember in 2010 the San José mine collapse in which 33 men spent 10 weeks trapped underground and the whole world wondered if they would ever be seen alive and well again.

Who can forget how after a wait for 69 days for the missing Chilean miners the whole world watched live on television as they emerged one by one from the deepest bowels of the earth in the remotest parts of Chile. Gaunt and emaciated as they were, the nation still felt relief just to see them.

Gone are the days when the media feeds the public on still black and white fuzzy photographs.

Baumgarten and the Chilean miners who had cheated death and their ordeals and triumphant returns were fittingly documented and broadcast live due to the advances in technology and mainly due to the migration to digital television.

Here in Zambia we are still lagging behind in that we were not able to broadcast live a similar important event which culminated in the triumphant return of our President after he had been missing like the Chilean miners.

One expected that, just as the Chilean miners had appeared from the dark crevices of the mine they were trapped in, or Baumgarten had emerged from the edge of space, the emergence of our president from the deepest recesses of Nkwazi House into the Cabinet Meeting room would have been covered by multiple numbers of cameras. Just like Baumgarten had insisted that his dive from space be covered live by thirty cameras, at least one camera could have been commandeered by our President for the event to be broadcast live.

Admittedly our President was missing for only twenty four days as opposed to sixty nine days as the Chilean miners were, but like for them, there was much consternation of an entire nation which had been kept on the edge of their seats and on tenterhooks. Just like Baumgarten’s perilous fall from space the nation held its collective breath wondering what his fate would be.

Much to the disappointment of the anxiously waiting nation, Zambia national Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) only fed us with one still fuzzy and out of focus picture of what should have been the President’s triumphant return into the public eye.

In fairness to the Presidents Special Assistant to the Press George Chellah, and His Excellency’s entire public relations crew, this is the reason that the government is pushing hard for Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation to complete the digital migration.

If other nations can get live pictures from the bowels of the earth and from the edge of space why should we fail to get a live streaming of our President whom so many are thirsting to see and hear?

A very strong case has been made for ZNBC to quickly complete the digital migration exercise.

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