PF sends ZRA to Prime TV just like they did to the Post.
Earlier government promised to destroy Prime TV.
YOU WILL BE ISOLATED LIKE THE DEFUNCT POST, MALUPENGA WARNS MEDIA HOUSES
By Daily Revelation Reporter
Prime Television Limited has disclosed that Information permanent secretary Amos Malupenga warned that media houses that do not cooperate with the ministry risk being isolated like the defunct Post Newspapers.
This is according to a petition Prime Television has filed in the Lusaka High Court seeking an order to quash the decision of Information and Broadcasting minister Dora Siliya’s to cease all cooperation with the television station.
The petition has been filed by LCK Chambers who has cited the Attorney General,Topstar and Multchoice as the first,second and third respondents respectively.
In the petition, Prime TV is also seeking a declaration that the decision by government to cease all business and transactions with it, was unconstitutional as it violated the television station’s rights as envisaged in Article 20 of the Constitution.
The private television broadcaster wants the court’s order that all media houses have the right to access and disseminate information from the government without undue hindrances.
The Television station is also demanding compensation for loss of business resulting from the decision by Topstar Communications Company Limited to remove it from its bouquet.
Prime TV has further sought an order that Topstar and Multichoice cannot remove it from the platforms they managed at the direction of the Attorney General and is seeking any other relief the court might deem fit.
According to the petition, on March 13, 2020, Malupenga held a meeting for media houses at which it was requested that media houses give free airtime to the broadcasting of adverts informing the public about the coranavirus pandemic also known as COVID 19 outbreak.
However, the petitioner stated that after the proprietor of the TV station informed the permanent secretary that PrimeTV could not afford to broadcast free advertisements due to economic challenges, Malupenga said that media houses that did not cooperate with the ministry of information and and broadcasting services could be isolated like the Post Newspaper.
“The permanent secretary stated that media houses that did not cooperate with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services would be isolated like The Post Newspapers,” read the petition in part.
According the the petition, on March 17, 2020, government issued a statement on ceasing of coorporations between it and the television station.
It stated that the statement directed that the government and agents shall not conduct any media transactions with the petitioner.
The statement also directed that government ministries, provinces and spending agencies should cancel all business transactions with the petitioner.
Top Stat, by a letter datgred March 27, ceased business cooperation with the petitioner citing the statement by Siliya.
Prime tv contended that arising out of the resolution of the meeting with media houses and Siliya’s decision, Topstar ceased cooperation with Prime TV.
The petitioner submitted that the decision by government undermined the principles of a democratic state and further undermined the right of Prime TV to receive information thereby denying the television station’s viewership critical and important governance information.
The comapany stated that the statement by Top Star hindered its ability to recieve information and disseminate information to the general public.