Minister of Information and Broadcasting Dora Siliya
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Dora Siliya

Government says it has observed with great concern that a simple misunderstanding between the Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila and Prime TV Journalists is being used for political mileage by some opposition leaders.

Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya says the PF and its Government have championed freedom of the press and the right for Journalists to practice without fear or favour from its inception.

Ms. Siliya says it is for this reason that Government has made great progress in consultations with stakeholders over the Access to Information Bill in readiness for presentation to Parliament.

She said Government is also working very closely with media leaders to see the Media Council come into fruition with its greatest role being that of setting standards for Journalists and also to protect Journalists from those who may hinder their professional practice.

Ms. Siliya says the matter at hand which is an isolated incidence is merely a misunderstanding of which she believe will be resolved amicably.

She said Mr. Mwila is eager to meet with Prime TV to discuss the matter on Tuesday, once again displaying the PF leadership commitment to the media in Zambia.

Ms. Siliya said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, remains charged and committed to the professional welfare of all media practitioners in Zambia in spite of which organisation they work for.

“You all recall that our Republican Constitution in Article 20 states:
“Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in Protection of the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to impart and communicate ideas and information without interference, whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons, and freedom from interference with his correspondence.” End of Quote.

“Therefore, I have heard the discourse going on, on different media platforms, concerning alleged harassment of journalists, and I decided to assure you that the Patriotic Front and indeed Government will not depart from the ideals of freedom of expression.”, she added.

And Yesterday Prime Media released the following letter to PF Secretary General

Prime Television Zambia
Off Great North Road
Kabangwe Area
Lusaka.
28th January 2019.

The Secretary General
Patriotic Front Secretariat
Lusaka.

Dear Sir,

RE: BARRING OF PRIME TV FROM COVERING PF FUNCTIONS AND CHASING OF PRIME TV JOURNALIST.

The above captioned subject refers.

It is with a heavy heart that we write your office on a matter in which you publicly chased Prime TV journalists from your Press Conference on Saturday 26th January 2019 and later on, decisively, barred Prime Television from covering all your party functions.

As a broadcast institution registered to operate independently under the laws of Zambia, we find the idea to chase our journalists and the decisive submission to bar Prime Television from covering all PF functions unfortunate.

Given your Party Position as Secretary General,and Knowing that you come from the ruling party which should lead by example by following the law ,it is sad that you opted to ignore the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) complaints procedure, which requires that you tender a formal complaint to a broadcast institution ,which complaint is supposed to be addressed within 14days ,upon which you are free to bring it to the attention of the IBA after 14 days ,where you feel that that Broadcast institution has failed to adequately address your complaint.

The above procedure is a requirement for all those who feel aggrieved on a matter of broadcasting.

Unfortunately, you have opted to use a more unprocedural way which to us is unfortunate , undemocratic and totalitarian in that it may subject our journalists to unwarranted political attacks especially attacks from the Patriotic Front cadres.

It is our considered view that the approach you took is not only undemocratic, but is a serious indictment on the freedom of the media.

While you have the right not to be covered if you so wish, it is Prime TV’s policy to provide a platform for all political parties without bias.

We also wish to bring to your attention that Prime TV is a commercial Television station where all those wishing to have sponsored programs are free to come and have their programs paid for as many times as they can just like your party has previously on the same platform.

As you may have observed, many political parties have been sponsoring their press conferences to air and this is done in a business sense.

We wish to urge you to follow the law as you make further complaints of a coverage nature and those complaints should be in compliance with sections (33-38) of IBA Act 2002.

As a media house , we still hold you in high esteem and pray that this misunderstanding you have raised is resolved promptly in a formal and civil manner.

Yours faithfully,

Gerald Shawa
Prime TV Director

Cc: Minister -Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Cc: Director General, Independent Broadcasting Authority
Cc: MISA Zambia
Cc: Media

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25 COMMENTS

    • How can savagely chasing away journalists who have been invited by your own media director be called a simple understanding. What is wrong with all people in this party kanshi?

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    • Dora Siliya a government spokesperson person is responsing to an issue raised by a cadre who is not a government official. Why not leave that to Sunday Chanda and Antonio Mwanza to make their misguided opinions? Dora has alot of issues to talk about as government spokesperson not to speak for Davies Mwaila who does not know what he says for as long as his mouth is open.

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    • What do you expect from political parties that rig elections with empunity.
      Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he is “appalled” by an attack by security officials on a protester that was featured in a TV news report. This is as good as faking an appall gets.
      His statement comes after widespread criticism of the way security forces have handled recent protests.
      Mr Mnangagwa said he has ordered the arrest of those behind the attack seen in a Sky News report.
      His condemnation has received a mixed reaction with some calling him “uninformed”.
      The state-funded Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has accused soldiers of using “systematic torture” in the crackdown on protests. It has strongly criticised the authorities for using troops to quell demonstrations.
      There have…

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    • There have also been reports of a number of deaths.
      The report by Sky News shows a handcuffed man being pulled away from a van by a soldier and at least one police officer. He is then seen being repeatedly beaten around the head by one of the officials.
      President Mnangagwa said on Twitter that this was “not the Zimbabwean way”.
      Reacting to the tweet, many have criticised the president.
      Nigel MK Chanakira said: “We have many wounded whom we may show you. Are you honestly so uninformed about what is going on in our country?”
      Another echoed theses sentiments saying “what’s appalling is our president only stating now that he is appalled after all that’s happened”.
      Unrest broke out a fortnight ago following a more than doubling in fuel prices, making it the most expensive…

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    • PF is only upset with prime TV for one simple reason, they give access to their political opponents to air their views, and prime TV is accessible to all Zambians via cable TV, and currently they are the leading news carrier in Zambia.

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    • No shame at all with our leaders here is Dora someone (educated fooool) with a Degree in Mass Media and Communication defending a Grade 7 SG Mwila who kicked out Journalists..of course you messed up why shouldn’t others not use it for political mileage you think you are paying citizens to be in those offices.

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    • Viva Gerald Shawa! Abash Mwila and Siliya. Ati simple misunderstanding! Kuti? “This is serious. Ala!

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    • Media Rhetoric.
      It is wiser not to seek money before you publish what you have gone to cover with your cameras and mics and own time. It amounts to diplomatic blackmail.The PF SG might have been supprised that as you cover their events, they dont see them show on your TV, Shawa. Must they pay to be shown.
      Seperate your daily news gathering from sponsored activities on your Station.
      If you pay, it will show is the most dangerous quintessential demand in the media business industry. Bad media ethics, bad business practices.

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  1. You call chasing someone you invite at your home simple misunderstanding?Unless you experience it might you feel it.Sad indeed.

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  2. Dorah ,Dorah ,Dorah the same misunderstanding of a simple traffic incident was used against HH for political mileage on the way to Mongu. It became treason and you raised no objections (and i’m no fan of HH btw)

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  3. Gerald Shawa also, how can you hold Davis Mwila in high esteem. That’s a very bad dream, its like having sarcastic Sunday Chanda in your family, just imagine. The guy who thinks everything has to be confrontational, nzelu kuchepa

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  4. I hate Zambian politicians ,they starve the big issues -water ,jobs ,education ,healthcare,sanitation and they feed the small distractions like a TV fight.

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  5. Dora you are a government spokesperson not PF spokesperson. Leave that trash to Sunday Chanda, Antonio Mwanza and Davies Mwila himself to respond. Have you run out of governent ideas to address in the media? Why is Davies Mwaila not the one to suggest he is willing to meeylt the media concerned? Are you Davies Mwila spokeswoman?

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    • Like most ministers In Zambia she does not know her job. We voters must ask our President for a job description for each of his ministers otherwise we are allowing shallow appointments that have no key performance evaluation. If the president does n’t have job descriptions for his ministers he is not doing his job. It’s not just a matter of appointing.

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  6. The clowns will never admit to serious and uncouth political flap by a ruffian SG, but want to trivialise and play it down it to. The day will come when decent and respectable politicians will run this country.

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  7. Is this the same mwila who called on PF caders to steal council plots and take over running of public spaces from councils ??

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  8. Whatever PF sees in Davies Mwila,yaba,why is this party working overtime to lose power?With what we saw what leadership credentials does PF see in Mwila,even the villagers that rejected Mwila appear to have better foresight.
    Now he needs an “Office of what the Secretary General meant to say” like late Sata who couldnt say what he meant to say but always depended on party officials mopping up after him whenever he opened his mouth…

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  9. Awe Ba Dora, Mwila behaved very childish especially for a man who holds the office of CEO of the mighty PF. People like Sata would have invited them then rubbished them, remember even Chishimba Kambwili would invite The Post newspaper reporter and tell them off. You dont chase the media, invite them.

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  10. The secretary general of PF mr Davis Mwila has disgraced his own party, president Edgar Lungu, his PF government and an insult to Zambians. President Lungu need to take action on Mwila to insulate himself from brutality and lack of decorum exhibited publicly by mr Mwila.

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