The Three Church Mother Bodies have condemned the suspension of Prime TV broadcasting license by the Independent Broadcasting Authority for thirty days over broadcasts that are deemed to have potential to cause unrest.
The Council of Churches in Zambia, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia and Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops says the decision by the Independent Broadcasting Authority to suspend Prime TV is not only embarrassing to the Government, but also it shows how dead the consciences of those in Government have become.
They noted that it is clear for every well-meaning Zambian to draw a line between the Government owned media institutions ZNBC, Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia and Prime TV in terms of professional and balanced coverage of news in the country.
The Church Mother Bodies said it is also their view that the grounds IBA has used to suspend the broadcasting license of Prime TV must have been applied first on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia before applying them on any other media house.
They further said that it is hypocritical to allow the suspension of a broadcasting license of a Private Media House when Government owned and controlled media outlets HAVE MISERABLY BEEN UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNETHICAL in the manner they cover news in the country, more especially during election times.
They said both Government and IBA need to have recourse to the biblical principle as enshrined in the Gospel of Mathew 7:3-5 that a man cannot remove a speck from their brother’s eye when they themselves have not first removed the plunk from their own eye.
In a joint statement issued to the media the Church Mother Bodiea have called for an end to this kind of behavior which arguably potray double standards being applied and does not promote the democratic credentials of our beloved country.
They noted that Office bearers have the duty to ensure that the law is applied fairly on all citizens and institutions, unlike what is obtaining on the ground.
“In addition, the action by IBA has the potential of being construed as a harassment and intimidation of institutions that do not dance to the tune of the Government and the ruling party, and constitutes a threat to democracy.
The suspension will also negatively affect the employees of the private media house and their families. We hope that Prime TV will use and exhaust every legal channel in this matter to pursue justice”, they added.
They have since urged the IBA to seriously consider lifting the suspension of the broadcasting license of Prime TV with immediate effect and allow the media house to operate freely without any intimidation.