The memorandum of understanding which the Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) signed with the Press Freedom Committee of the Post where PAZA receives a monthly grant of K10million has compromised the Independence, Integrity and Morality of the Association, the Committee of Citzens has charged.
And Committee of Citizens director Gregory Chifire has accused the PAZA executive committee members of holding office illegally.
“We wish to warn PAZA membership countrywide that its Leadership has rented PAZA to the Post. We urge the membership to restore any credibility left of PAZA by taking immediate action’, said Chifire.
But PAZA vice president Amos Chanda in response said people like Chifire are bitter because the media and government have reached consensus on the regulation of the media issue.
He wondered why Chifire was bringing out this issue when the antagonism between government and the media seems to have ended.
He said some people were happy with the animosity because it gave them a chance to make money out of the confusion.
Chanda said PAZA was happy that a consensus has been reached and that the self-regulation mechanism process was on.
On being in office illegally, Chanda said his executive has already announced to its members that the Annual General Meeting to elect new leaders will be held next November.
But Chifire earlier said “the position PAZA has taken to agree on the terms of the Post where it has accepted a monthly grant of K10million contradicts the very purpose of its existence. The existence of this servile working relationship makes it difficult for the General Public to respect the views and activities of PAZA as it has become an official appendage of the Post.
“PAZA’s recent vicious attacks on the Republican Vice President, senior Govt Officials, and their fellow Journalists using similar, if not identical derogatory language with the Post is saddening.
“It is surprising that members of PAZA have allowed its Leadership to continue leading the Association illegally as its mandate expired in 2006 when according to PAZA Constitution new membership should have been elected.
“Since the bulk of PAZA membership is at credible institutions such as ZNBC, ZANIS; Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail, it is important that PAZA disassociates itself from subversive activities that the leadership has engaged the Association with the Post.
In the same vein, we advise Govt to continue with its very well known mission of democratizing and enhancing the Freedoms of the Media.”