Dora Siliya
Dora Siliya

Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Dora Siliya today met US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote and discussed a wide range of issues mainly surrounding the media sector.

Mr Foote was accompanied by new US Embassy Public Affairs Officer Sean McIntosh And Information Specialist Zarina Geloo.

Ms Siliya informed the Ambassador that her Ministry is in the process of rebranding itself to focus more on its core mandate of facilitating Government Information, Media Development, Film Development and Theatre Development in the country.

“Our role is to provide information as well as get feedback from the public. But we are also responsible for film and theatre and yet my Ministry is not structured in such a way that it can cater for film and theatre. We are also responsible for media development, or the business of media. Therefore, there is need to reorganise the Ministry to suit the mandate,” Ms Siliya said.

She said her Ministry has drafted a Cabinet Memorandum to seek Cabinet approval to facilitate the Ministry’s rebranding.

Ms Siliya said many citizens believe her Ministry is responsible for cyber laws, while others believe it is in charge of broadcasting only, which is not the case. The Ministry of Transport and Communications is in charge of the Information and Communications Sector in Zambia and deals with laws regarding cyber security.

“Even our name needs to be looked at, we just don’t do broadcasting,” Ms Siliya said.

And Mr Foote commended the Zambian Government for its vigour in drafting the Access to Information Bill but wondered why it has not been taken to Parliament for legislation to which the Minister replied that the Ministry of Justice have concluded their part and will write to her soon.

“It is active now. The question I always ask is what is it that we are trying to achieve? And we are clear as Government about what we want to do. I just need to emphasise that this law is about our citizens and their right to know. It’s not just about journalists alone,” she said.

Mr Foote said the US Government is ready to help Zambia complete the process if called upon.

He said that the American Government has helped Zambian journalists through exchanges and training in investigative journalism. The US has also trained local Disc Jockeys in journalism skills.

“We have annual exchanges, and we workshops for journalists in Livingstone, Chipata, and we have trained DJs in journalism basics.

The Minister assured the Ambassador of freedom of the media in Zambia and expressed concern that many journalists have aligned themselves with political parties and, therefore, have compromised on their own independence.

“I don’t call anybody in the media, I just read stories in the media as they are written. The biggest problem in the media is that journalists are poorly paid, and, therefore, are liable to being easily compromised,” she said.

Regarding the film industry, she said there is need for clarity in policies to ensure young creative minds excel in the industry like in the US, Nigeria and India.

Mr McIntosh informed the Minister that he is in contact with the National Arts Council to bring in a film director from the US to have a session with Zambian artistes, and Mr Foote, who has acted in a Hollyhood film encouraged the Ministry to support the film industry.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Dora, why are you and Edgar so scared of the Freedom of Information Bill? Why are journalists at ZNBC and other govt media houses poorly paid when we subscribe to TV levy and they have great opportunity to raise funds if only they were allowed to operate professionally?

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    • My friend FTJ, Mwanawasa, Rupiah and Sata all promised to table this Bill but they never ever ever took it parliament. Same as the Public Order act which has been used as a campaign tool is still with us. We cannot tailor all our governance systems just to please the Americans because we’re not American

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    • @Ndaje, everything we have is tailored against something, our parliament against the British system, same as the judiciary…if we are going to copy democracy let us learn from the best and tailor (copy) perfectly. You contradict yourself, so you think it is ok to use the Public Order Act as a campaign tool. Let us learn from John McCain, country first and partisan politics later

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    • Where is the Information Act? We don’t need the Cyber Crime Bill but the Information Act is needed. Ba PF be serious

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    • Come on man our system is not British in all aspects. Just go and do your civics again. As the POA it appears you have not understood what I mean. In simple English. …Unip promised to scrap the act once majority rule was achieved and so did all successive parties but they didn’t because of either national security or personal security. ..it’s still with us and it will be here till the second advent.

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  2. Breaking news

    “..The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is the 36-member club of the world’s most developed economies.
    Former Israeli officials are helping Rwanda’s campaign to join the 36-member club of the world’s most developed economies, known as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)….”

    Now that is leadership on kigames part. Not this gang of looters lead by lungu we have….

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    • Kagame dictator today, Kagame good president today and so the cacophony goes depending how this affects Edgar. Yesterday Kagame praised Edgar. …the cry was fellow dictator etc. Mwana these developed nations don’t really care about your black butt but they can make out of your country. Kenya can get more favors from the USA because of its importance as far as international terrorism is concerned. Rwanda and Uganda are important because easy access to the plunder of DRC natural resources. Zambia doesn’t count much unless you promise them unfettered access to our minerals like one opposition party has been doing since 2001. Each time this party loses Zambia experiences job losses in the mines.

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    • Njadji
      Stop f.ooling your self……who wants copper in a land locked country which is the most expensive to do bussiness in ?

      You give Zambian minerals which are owned by Indians and chinises you much credit…

      If Zambian has so much potential as in your minerals as you claim how come no one will borrow you bail outs , not even the IMF ?

      Rwanda and Kenya have systems that work that is why western countries work with them.

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    • @4.1 Ndanje.. YOU ARE SPOT ON!! They(WEST) have always said it, there are NO PERMANENT ENEMIES BUT PERMANENT INTERESTS!! IFF Democracy and good Governance is there main concern, we would NOT have Kagame, Museveni, Paul Biya (Cameroon) and host of other dictator that West has been imposing on continent!! IN FACT, FOR NOW, ZAMBIA IS SPARED THE WORST BECAUSE WESTERN MINING COMPANIES (their interests) ARE RIPPING US OFF,(as they wish)!!

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    • Missed the point again. …I said if promised to mine our minerals for free, on cheap labor and allowed to bring in their own nationals…that’s what unfettered means. …please use dictionary. How come they came in hoards in the 19th century to mine the same copper you’re saying is expensive to mine in a land locked country. Please don’t give examples only when it suits. ..we’re in a real world not James Bond fantasy.

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    • Ndanji
      The days of western love affair with Africa ended long time ago…..if the west truly had a intent in africa they would be supporting white suprimists in SA.

      The West would rather trade with Africa on an equal footing and see Africa develop than keep giving africans aid but Africans are too corrupt and sell each other out while selling their minerals for a song. The Indians and Chinese are in this corrupt mix full swing.

      Cheaper copper abounds in the world. And Zambia is of not of any importance geographically.

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    • Hello there please show me where I have mentioned HH. So if you’re sure it’s HH I am talking about then what people say about him is true.

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    • This is a case of nationalistic nutcases seeing importance in what they don’t own in the first place.

      The Indians and Chinese own Zambias minerals .

      If the west had any interest in Zambia they would controll you via an imf bailout of is begging for , but the don’t give a hoot about Zambia and they won’t give you a bailout….

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    • Ba Spaka please don’t harbor hatred in your heart. Your time to rule Zambia will come if it’s God’s wish. But at the moment another person is in charge.

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    • @5.2 Spaka, Yes we have Indian and Chinese Investors in the mining sector but the MAIN INVESTORS RUNNING THE BIGGER PORTION ARE CANADIAN,AUSTRALIANS, AMERICAN,BRITISH, KEY SHAREHOLDERS IN BIG OPERATIONS OF GLENCORE (Mopani), FIRST QUANTUM (Kansanshi,Kalumbila), BARRICK Gold (Lumwana). Chinese (NFC) and Indians (KCM) could be coming in the lower tiers of production volumes and profitability!

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    • Ndanji
      Why ever would I want to rule over a country that sees politicians insulated in their aircon suvs drive past hordes of street kids ……or rule over people people living 8 miles from statehouse but still drink water from contaminated wells next yo pit latrines ?

      I am putting the point across that no one wants Zambias minerals , those have been sold for the next 25 years….of the $6 billion in mineral sales only a fraction gets to Zambia as sinkamba says…..people in Zambia need to be making leaders more accountable instead of blaming job loses on the mines to immaginery immperalists….people will be shocked to find out the source of campain funds for some parties…..or the true wealth accumulated by some leaders…

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    • zambiaisours

      Listen, if the west wanted to controll Zambia, they would simply let the IMF give a bailout , which apparently PF is begging for….but no one is intrested in controlling Zambia.
      Those western companies you mention , if they wanted to milk Zambia completely , all they have to do is bribe lungu and pf to sign. But belive it or not western companies make profits with social ethics in mind.

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    • Spaka then don’t complain. Just keep on enjoying the civilization someone else labored or even died for.

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    • Ndanje Khakis

      I am , make no mistake about that.
      I pay taxes and expect accountability and orderlines.
      I will see you in Zambia soon.

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  3. They will never entertain this bill they will just keep kicking the can down the road like they did from MMD days.

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  4. There is too much indiscipline among Zambian jourmnalist for this Bill to see the light of the day. If the PF government wants anarchy, let them go ahead and push this bill. MMD was not stupid to stay it.

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    • Which Journalists are you on about? Its not for PF to decide what’s good for you …wake up from your docility, no wonder you are being taxed twice and there is no transparency and accountability!!

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