Government says it is hypocritical for newly formed Peoples Party (PP) President ,Mike Mulongoti to challenge Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, Amos Malupenga to state what the Patriotic Front (PF) has done well to improve media freedom since it assumed office in 2011.
Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kennedy Sakeni reminded Mr. Mulongoti that it was unfair and un- procedural for him to attack a civil servant in his personal capacity in the media whom he knows cannot respond as a politician.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Sakeni said this in a statement, today.
“Mr. Mulongoti should have instead directed his comments to the ministry of Information and Broadcasting in general and not single out any civil servant, “ SAID Mr. Sakeni in the statement.
He wondered where Mr. Mulongoti got the courage to make such a challenge when he had done nothing to improve the media environment he is now talking about when he served as Information Minister in the Movement for Multi party Democracy (MMD) government.
Mr. Sakeni said Zambians have not forgotten that under the leadership of Mr. Mulongoti, the media had sunk down to its lowest level professionally due to its heavy political patronage.
He said the loyalty of the media is now to the public and not the ruling party as was the case under the MMD government in which Mr. Mulongoti served, adding that it has taken the PF government less than 12 months to actualize the independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA).
He Minister listed the progress made by the PF government in improving media freedom including the launch of the media self regulatory body and progress in the enactment of the Access to Information Billwhich he said is set to be presented to parliament during the second half of this year.
Mr. Sakeni added that other achievements the government has made in the media are the opening of air waves through issuing of 13 construction permits for community radio stations and the installation of FM transmitters in districts countrywide to improve the reception of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) radio signals.
He noted that these and many ,more successes in the media sector such as holograms and digital migration could not have been possible without the contributions of civil servants in the ministry of Information under the guidance of Mr. Amos Malupenga .
The Minister advised Mr. Mulongoti to concentrate on nurturing his newly born Political Party rather than raising baseless accusations against innocent people.
Earlier this week, People’s Party (PP) President Mike Mulongoti challenged Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga to state what he has done to improve the freedom of the media in the country since becoming a technocrat in the ministry.