The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has said that it will not be bullied by any external forces into lifting the suspension of Prime TV’s broadcasting license.
Interim IBA board chairperson Chanda Kasolo has charged that the IBA does not operate under pressure from any politician or civil society grouping.
Mr. Kasolo, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, stated that the law is the law and the IBA applies the law as it is.
In an interview with QTV News Mr. Kasolo said that it is therefore important for all those aggrieved by the suspension of Prime TV’s license to first understand what the law says.
Mr. Kasolo noted that in addition to abrogating the conditions of its license and own code of ethics, the TV station neglected to reply to several warnings the IBA wrote to it adding that, as IBA interim board chairperson, he does not, in this case, have any intentions of lifting the suspension as he does not bend to pressure from outside.
Mr. Kasolo stated that the 30 days suspension will thus run as directed and the local TV station is expected to meet all conditions the IBA has given to it before the suspension is lifted.
On Tuesday, Prime Television director Gerald Shawa appealed against the Independent Broadcasting Authority’s decision to suspend the private broadcaster’s license for 30 days.
The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), in its letter dated February 4, 2019, suspended Prime TV’s broadcast licence pursuant to section 31 (1) of the IBA Amendment Act No. 26 of 2010.
Shawa, in his appeal letter addressed to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya, stated that the suspension is not the only remedy available to address what the IBA termed as unprofessional practice by Prime Television.
He further stated that there were immediate economic effects on the broadcast institution that would result from the IBA’s decision.
Shawa has since requested the Minister to review the IBA’s action and reduce it to a warning with specific guidelines as has been the practice with other institutions before.
However, on Thursday Chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya said that Prime Television had not presented any appeal to her office following the suspension of its broadcast licence by the Independent Broadcasting Authority – IBA.
Ms. Siliya said that she was yet to receive a report from the IBA regarding the Radio and Television stations which were disciplined for failure to abide by the set regulations, adding that she will only effectively comment on the matter when she receives a report.
Ms. Siliya also appealed to people not to comment on the suspension of Prime TV before finding out why such a decision was taken.
She wondered why people were only talking about Prime TV and not the other stations whose licenses were revoked.
Ms. Siliya who is also Information and Broadcasting Services minister told Journalists at a media Briefing that there was a process that all aggrieved parties need to follow in order to seek redress if they feel the decision of the IBA was not fair.