The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)says it was unable to record and broadcast the planned Presidential debate sponsored by the Economics Association of Zambia( EAZ) which was scheduled for Pamodzi Hotel yesterday because of the criteria used to select participating political parties.
ZNBC Corporate Affairs Manager Masuzhyo Ndhlovu said the exclusion of other Presidential contenders was in the opinion of the Corporation discriminatory and did not promote equal access to public media platform.
He said the Presidential debate was meant to only feature candidates from UPND, PF, MMD and FDD who currently have representation in Parliament.
Mr. Ndhlovu stated that as a Corporation they felt that it would not have been fair to other political players contesting the January 2015 elections because they were also entitled to equal and fair coverage.
He said in a media statement that to ZANIS in Lusaka today that ZNBC is guided by the Electoral Code of Conduct and its statutory mandate as stipulated in Section 3 of the ZNBC Act, Chapter 154 of the laws of Zambia as amended by Acts No.20 of 2002 and 16 of 2010 which defines the responsibilities and functions of the Corporation.
He added that ZNBC widely consulted key stakeholders in the electoral process such the Electoral Commission of Zambia(ECZ) before arriving at its final decision.