In a bid to completely black out the opposition parties from placing adverts on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) has introduced an extra cost to be called evaluation fee.
Acting under instruction from government, ZNBC is now demanding that all material be scrutinised by an evaluation committee to be constituted and that in addition to the cost of the advert an evaluation fee which is also yet to be determined shall have to be paid.
But sources from ZNBC have told the Watchdog that the scheme is an attempt to avoid the legal suits that some stakeholders may have against ZNBC which is supposed to be a public broadcaster as it is funded from public coffers but has now been turned into a PF propaganda tool.
“The whole thing is that the directors are trying to run away from responsibilities and have now constituted the fake evaluation committee so that they would be able to reject some adverts and purport that the committee rejected its placement. But by then the political party or candidate will already have paid the evaluation fee, which is also a hidden cost to make advertising expensive,” said the source.
The Media Liaison Committee (MLC) which is an umbrella of various media bodies has currently sued ZNBC for unethical reporting among other things contrary to the ZNBC Act.