Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo has paid tribute to the media for its role in disseminating information about ongoing government programmes.
Mr Lusambo said the media is an important ally for Government as it helps reach the masses about critical information regarding government’s programmes.
He said he is looking at strengthening partnerships with the media as he starts his tenure as Copperbelt Minister.
Mr Lusambo was speaking in Ndola on Saturday evening when he hosted a media dinner for Copperbelt based Journalists at the Impala Golf Hotel.
He stated that he enjoyed warm and cordial relations with the media during the campaign season, a situation he would like to see continue.
“I worked well with most of you during campaigns. This event we are hosting for you here is simply to say thank you. We became friends during our campaigns and I would like that to continue, infact Bowman Lusambo is a product of the media. What I am today, I partly owe it you guys,” Mr Lusambo said.
He also cautioned the media in Zambia to maintain their professional ethics in the execution of their work.
“As we seek to strengthen this partnership, I would like to urge all of you to keep ethics and professional conduct at the heart of your work. Please don’t fabricate stories just to divide the people. I am a firm believer in unity at all levels,” he said.
And Mr Lusambo has announced the setting up a Media Scholarship Fund to help Journalists on the Copperbelt advance their academic qualifications.
He said it is important for Journalists to continue upgrading their academic qualifications as a way of improving their work.
“Most of you are very young and you are in the early years of your careers. I would like to support your further education because I believe education is the best equaliser in life. That is the best gift I could offer you colleagues as we work together. There are no strings attached to this support,” Mr Lusambo said as Journalists cheered on.
He explained that the first batch of recipients will be awarded the Scholarships in January 2017 after application modalities are developed and finalised.
Over 20 Journalists drawn from several media houses based on the Copperbelt attended the dinner.
And speaking on behalf of his media colleagues, Fletcher Mushibwa from Radio Icengelo thanked Mr Lusambo for the gesture saying this is the first time he is seeing a senior Government official hosting a dinner party to thank the media.
“This gesture has really touched all of us. I think since Independence, I have never heard of any Minister doing what you have done for us. Empowering us with education is the best way of supporting our development as Journalists. We say thank you and may God bless you.”