Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Management has issued a statement saying that it is not true that the National Broadcaster has merged with Star Times.
ZNBC Board Chairperson Mulenga Kampwepwe said that ZNBC is 100% owned by the Citizens and cannot be sold or taken over without the approval of Parliament, adding that the relationship between ZNBC and Star Times was in relations to the formation of the Joint venture company called Top Star.
Ms. Kapwepwe said that the two companies have retained their full operational and ownership autonomy and that the statement from CCPC must therefore be taken in the context of ZNBC and Star Times coming together to create Top star Communication Company Limited.
Ms. Kapwepwe further said that this relationship will not in any way affect the shareholding of ZNBC and Star Times as both parties remain Independent.
Ms. Kapwepwe added it must be noted that the law allows ZNBC to enter into agreement and partnerships as regard to its operations.
Earlier reports had emerged that the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has granted a conditional authorisation for a merger between ZNBC and Hantex Corporation which is controlled by China’s Startimes.
An application was made on June 20 for the merger of the two institutions.
Star Times’s shareholding in ZNBC would only be relinquished upon full payment of an over $270 million loan obtained by the government for the digital migration exercise.
CCPC Board Chairman Kelvin Bwalya Fube announced the development in a statement which now confirms earlier reports that the Chinese company had taken over the running of ZNBC.
ZNBC and Hantex formed a joint venture called Top Star, which is currently controls television signals on the local market.
But Government through its Chief Spokesperson Dora Siliya is still disputing the move.
In a tweet, Ms Siliya said Government will advise on the purported sale of ZNBC to the Chinese in a statement by the Competition Commission soonest.
Government has repeatedly denied reports that China is taken over the running of ZNBC after it finalized the controversial digital migration project through a loan which many observers feel was over priced.