In an attempt to shut some radio stations seen to be critic of the PF government and to block opposition from using private radio stations, PF has instructed the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to raise the radio license fees from K2,000 to K20,000 per year.
In addition to the K20,000 the private radio stations will be required to pay K5,200 to the Zambia Information Communication Technologies Authority (ZICTA). This is further in addition to the registration certificate fees with PACRA and payments to the local authority for business permits.
Sources close to the IBA said the instructions were expressly issued by State house after it was realized that after being blocked from featuring on the state owned ZNBC, the opposition leaders were using the much more influential private media.
While these fees have been increased, sate controlled ZNBC which also collects levies and gets grants from government will pay K10,000 and K5,000 for TV and radio respectively.
Earlier this month, government further issued directives to have all journalists get accredited with Zambia News and information services (ZANIS) in a move that has been viewed as licensing journalists.
The new fees are effective this year and may see a number of radio stations close down.