The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) along with PF Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili yesterday refused to participate in voting for the 2018 budget allocation for the ministry of information and the PF abused ZNBC.
Debating the budget line for the ministry of Information, Monze Central UPND parliamentarian Jack Mwiimbu charged that the ministry has now turned into a PF propaganda wing and wondered why the opposition should vote for a budget to support PF propaganda.
Mwiimbu lamented that the opposition has been blacked out by the Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and ZNBC adding that for that reason the PF should fund their propaganda wings themselves.
Katuba UPND lawmaker Patricia Mwashingwele pointed out that ZNBC was only talking about what was happening around the PF.
‘We are not going to pass budget lines that are not for the good of the people, the ministry of Information is like a wing of the PF, it is no longer a public media so why should I support it?,’ Mwashingwele asked.
And Ikelenge Member of Parliament Elijah Muchima stressed that there was no need to support a Ministry that does not support the people and further noted that the PF had campaigned to enact the Access to Information Bill (IBA) within 90 days of forming government but 6 years down the line the Bill has not been brought to parliament.
Muchima said ZNBC was a pure PF wing and Zambians are now forced to tune to the BBC and CNN for news.
But PF Labour Minister Joyce Nonde Simukoko accused Zambians shunning ZNBC in preference to foreign news channels of being unpatriotic.
‘It is unpatriotic not to support the ZNBC budget; shamelessly people support foreign stations. It’s wrong to support institutions that charge K1, 000 per month to view (DSTV) and fail to support ZNBC,’ Simukoko said.
The opposition members and Chishimba Kambwili walked out and only came back after the vote on the Information Ministry was done.