MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale speaks to Journalists after she toured the closed Post Newspapers
MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale speaks to Journalists after she toured the closed Post Newspapers

The Media Institute Southern Africa has welcomed the pronouncement by the government to enact a law that will grant the Independent Broadcasting Authority legal mandate to regulate the Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation.

As an organization that advocates for media freedom, MISA Zambia says it fully welcomes this move as they believe it will moderate irregularities that exist between the private broadcast media and public broadcast media.

MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale said the pronouncement by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo is a step into leveling the broadcast playing field especially that the IBA will now be able to scrutinize the national broadcaster and this will greatly assist in transforming ZNBC into a true public service broadcaster that serves the interests of all Zambians.

Ms. Mwale said the IBA in its current state has very little legal capacity to regulate ZNBC except for the private broadcasting media houses.

She noted that while the move to enhance IBA legal mandate over ZNBC is a welcome move, MISA Zambia is concerned with government’s continued interest in enacting laws to regulate media ethics in the country.

Ms. Mwale said a non-statutory self-regulation mechanism is the best regulation for the media compared to statutory regulation.

She said the media should be given leverage to formulate its own regulatory system so as to allow it carry out its duties without fear or intimidation taking into account its position in society as the fourth estate.

She said statutory regulation will gravely affect media freedom, increase censorship and ultimately affect freedom of expression and the right of citizens to information which is vital for democracy to thrive and good governance.

Ms. Mwale said owing to the recent suspension of Prime Television by the IBA, MISA Zambia doubts the intentions behind the said regulatory law.

She added that while MISA welcomes the announcement by President Edgar Lungu on preventing cyber space abuse, we wish to restate that such laws should not impact freedom of expression, the right of citizens to assemble online and access information as they are vital to good governance and human rights protection in the country.

Ms. Mwale has since appealed to government and all policy makers that the development of laws and policies should always take into consideration fundamental rights of freedom of expression, right to information and that for the media if our national plans of attaining development that leaves no one behind are to be attained.

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18 COMMENTS

    • No! The best is to make ZNBC a public broadcaster not the State Broadcaster that it is at present. For those who may not know, a State broadacster is one that answers to government like ZNBC and Zimbabwe Broadacsting do. A public broadcaster answers only to its board who are appointed by parliament

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    • I am afraid the legal mandate to IBA has come a little too late, the damage to ZNBCs reputation will take a long time to restore.

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  1. So everyone has just realised that IBA has no mandate over the public broadcaster after Peter Sinkamba of the Greens highlighted this issue.

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    • Is it chaired by the PS? It certainly isn’t independent then. Whoever came up with such an arrangement must be assassinated. He sold out

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  2. This could be a new beginning to a new age modernization of ZNBC. However still the national broadcaster will have a mammoth task to recapture the lost confidence of the citizenry.

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  3. even if they have mandate what can they really do? If they gave power to UPND to regulate ZNBC and then PF to regulate UPND we would talking. Let wait and see I’m not too optistic. Who regulates IBA?

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  4. Somtimes i think we are our worst enemy. Why do we continue to pay TV license for ZNBC to only broadcast PF?Our money being clearly abused…We should challenge this law seriously….

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  5. True, it’s like the people are paying to be indoctrinated by pf. If the station wants to provide coverage for only one party then it should use that party’s funds to meet its financial obligations. The station is not longer a country’s station but a party’s vuvuzela

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    • I watch znbc and the programs they show are not pf but govt. The problem with people with limited knowledge is that they fail to distinguish party from govt.

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  6. Elyo bola yawama. Just imagine “IBA suspends ZNBC for a month”! And Dora will just be watching?? And Lungu will just be watching as his party is blacked out???

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  7. I feel the move is timely .But i wonder if our current representatives in parliament are capable of enacting such law,because they are too self centered.
    I think this country would have better with selfless leaders

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  8. Has znbc improved the system of reading the news or is still the same? madam mwale don’t clap for PF they mean the opposite of it.mwale do you think pf can do something that can disadvantage them? open your thinking and how did you find yourself on that position? because that position needs brain thinker not who just welcome impossible things.

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  9. Still missing the point! Its the two amendments that took away the independence of IBA. M ISA should not just parrot opposition propaganda but instead lobby the same opposition to table and reverse those amendments in parliament. That’s the problem we have today in our country-those who should be putting grz in line have lost direction leaving the dominant party in power to do as they wish.

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