There are founded fears that the PF regime through its agency called Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) will shut down Prime TV following the media house’s appearance for hearing at Massmedia today.
Yesterday the hearing couldn’t proceed as IBA Director General Josephine Mapoma ruled that the Prime TV team was not ready and that they would inform them on the next date of the meeting but in unexplained circumstances they suddenly wrote that the hearing takes place.
Prime TV team responded to the charges categorically and stated that the expose of violence yielded positive results as police lived in to arrest the perpetrators of the crimes.
Meanwhile, the Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC) says it is concerned with the manner the IBA is handling matters of Private Broadcasters in Zambia.
‘We are particularly shocked with the directive by the IBA to Prime TV in the which the Authority has asked the Station to apologise to the Patriotic Front Secretary General, Mr. Davies Mwila who apparently chased a Prime TV crew from the latter’s Press briefing. This directive could have been the opposite.
Further, we have noted with dismay incensant attempt to control editorial policy of Private Broadcasters. This defeats the Independence of broadcasters, which the IBA must at all time promote as enshrined in the IBA Act.
The IBA board must endeavor to resisted the temptation from those in power to gag the media, which can lead to the obliteration of media freedom, which is a cornerstone of democracy and stands at the pinnacle of citizens’ rights.
The IBA board does not wish to go down as a contributor to the distraction of Press Freedom.
Notwithstanding, Zambians are in awe at the manner the IBA has failed to censure ZNBC’s editorial and news coverage that has deliberately taken a partisan stance. The IBA is not created to chastise private practioners, but to also check the operations of ZNBC