President Edgar Lungu on Thursday held a clandestine meeting at State house during which he bribed Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia chapter chairperson Hellen Mwale and the heads of Times of Zambia, Daily Mail and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation for them to enhance biased coverage.
Mwale, Beston Ngonga, Nebert Mbewe and Richard Mwanza were paid K50,000 each for them to influence biased reporting before the campaigns officially start and promised some more undisclosed amounts after parliament is dissolved.
Mwale has been given the money with instructions to bribe some community radio stations reporters so that they black out the opposition especially UPND in the forthcoming general elections.
Mwale, an undercover reporter for the online Zambia Reports ( sponsored by her white boyfriend based in USA) was also instructed to identify user friendly radio stations and turn them into PF megaphones. She was also told not to condemn the government on media violations so that PF image can be improved.
A state house source disclosed that during the meeting the MISA chairperson promised to bring other board members into her corruption circle.
But a MISA Zambia insider has disclosed that Mwale’s manoeuvres will fail as her board is earmarked for impeachment following funds mismanagement which led satirist Roy Clarke to resign.
The pending impeachment follows the failure by MISA to stand up against media violations by PF and the recent increase of radio license fees by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and endorsed by Mwale’s group.