The Non-governmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has learnt with sadness the decision by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to suspend the Broadcasting License for Prime Television following a complaint by the Secretary-General of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) Mr. Davis Mwila.
The Republican Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression and subsequently freedom of the press. The decision by the IBA is not only ultra vires the Republican Constitution, but is also draconian and reminiscent of totalitarian regimes. It is NGOCC’s considered view that the suspension appears to be intended to intimidate and muzzle the media to instil fear in terms of independent and unbiased reporting.
NGOCC wishes to reiterate our position that the role of the media in any democracy is an important aspect of governance. Apart from entertaining and informing, the media plays a critical role in educating the masses. We therefore find the suspension of Prime Television as a serious affront against the masses that depend on this station.
We demand that the IBA should immediately lift the ban and allow Prime Television to operate freely. Even the Patriotic Front (PF) Party manifesto agrees with our position on the need for greater press freedom for the greater good of the country.
for/on behalf NGOCC
Engwase B. Mwale