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Alba Iulia
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Topstar switches off Prime TV as Panos calls for immediate reinstatement

Headlines Topstar switches off Prime TV as Panos calls for immediate reinstatement

Topstar has announced it has removed Prime Television from all its platforms.

The move follows the directive by Minister of Information and Broadcasting Dora Siliya that all government ministries and other entities must cease any business with the station.

Topstar Acting Chief Executive Officer Liu Yingnan said in a letter dated 27th March 2020 addressed to the TV station Chief Executive Officer that since government has some shares in Topstar, it could not continue to host Prime TV.

Prime Television Proprietor Gerald Shawa recently apologized to the government and Zambians over his refusal to air messages on COVID 19.

In a meeting Organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting chaired by Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga to engaged media owners and News Heads, Mr Shawa said his station would not air any messages on COVID 19 without government paying anything.

The move prompted government to cease to cooperate with Prime Television Station until further notice.

Ms Siliya, had said the development meant that government and any of its agents shall not conduct any media transactions with the television station.

Ms Siliya, who is also Chief Government Spokesperson, added that there shall be no appearance of public officers and officials on the television station’s programmes whether paid for or otherwise, and categorically stated that journalists from Prime Television shall not be invited to cover any government-related business.

There is still no comment from Government on whether the stance taken by the Information Minister will be reversed after Mr. Shawa apologised

Meanwile, Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) appeals to signal distributor Top Star Communications Company Limited to reconsider its decision to remove Prime Television from its platforms, and immediately reinstate the station on the Top Star bouquet.

On Friday, 27 March 2020, Top Star said the company was “hereby ceasing all forms of cooperation” with Prime TV, and that they were removing the station from the Top Star platform “with immediate effect”. The company said this action was taken in line with a Ministry of Information directive for government agencies to terminate all business transactions with the privately own television station.

Panos believes private media actors such as Prime TV have an important role to play in advancing Zambia’s development, complementing the national broadcaster and other information actors to ensure increased availability of and access to media and communication platforms by the most affected and most vulnerable groups, and ensuring that information is effectively used to drive development.

Given Prime TV’s position as a leading private broadcaster in Zambia, the station provides an important platform for citizens to access and share information on important issues. The removal of Prime TV from Top Star may have far reaching negative effects on the station’s employees and on the many citizens who rely on the TV station as their preferred channel for accessing information.

At a time when the whole nation is focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the media has a duty to inform and educate citizens, raising their awareness about the pandemic and providing them with information enabling them to take the necessary precautions as guided by the government, through the Ministry of Health and other agencies. Removal of Prime TV from the Top Star platform will limit the station’s outreach, and therefore limit the extent to which citizens can access and share information on the national COVID-19 response and other national developmental issues.

Instead of taking such severe action, and considering that Prime TV management has since apologised to the government, Panos encourages the Top Star management to pursue other amicable ways to address any concerns around Prime TV.

[Read 3,552 times, 1 reads today]

51 COMMENTS

  1. We have hooligans in Govt. PF will cause more injuries as they leave power. Most PF members will find it difficult to survive once out of Govt. A lot will end up in Chimbokaila for various offenses, there’ll be no one to take them food because they’ve literary annoyed almost everybody. The only thing that unites PF at the moment is the fear of Hichilema. Should Hichilema win the next election most PF members will either be in exile or prison. They’ll know what a savage he is, not those chaps brandishing toy guns in bars. Hichilema doesn’t forgive. If God wants to severely punish the PF then Hichilema will be our next President. Mark my words

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  2. Hmmmmm…….if God wants to PUNISH PF then HH will be our president. I have liked this phrase…….
    THE FACT IS THAT GOD IS SEEING WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH.

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  3. Maipopo just few months ago engaged media stations owners and pleaded with them to conduct their work in the professional manner.The meeting was centered on poor publications of Prime TV.The station has engaged in war with the government.Before warning even if the government does something good prime tv could encounter that in a negative way probably suiting the mind of their sponsors.Personally I don’t care if the station can be banned for their operations for good I wouldn’t care.

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  4. “The removal of Prime TV from Top Star may have far reaching negative effects on the station’s employees.”
    I like this statement because the same employees have contributed in putting the fire on their feet. I have been listening to their news, and have observed that they have nothing good to report about apart from trying to make people hate the government.
    Mr. Shawa, you apologised, but you together with your so called news casters (workers) need to repent. Poor people subscribe to top star, and they are in majory. This means very few people will be listening to your rubbish.
    Good day.

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  5. PF virus claims another death of Prime TV.
    PF virus killed The Post Newspaper.
    PF virus tested positive in KCM, who still in icu.
    PF virus kills

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  6. Underson, unfortunately, your small god doesn’t have any relationship with the Almighty God. If God wants to change the leadership, he will pick someone who is not even on your mind.

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  7. Don’t demonize prime TV, how about ZNBC funded by all zambians but having political prostitutes called defectors, who just move from UPND to PF. How come these commodities on ZNBC just defect from one party to the other from January to December Should top star also remove ZNBC from their platform from this clear uncivilized partisan approach.

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  8. Shame!!! I will miss Prime TV the only television station in Zambia that could deliver the truth. They’re being punished for exposing the coronavirus infected Chinese who quarantined themselves within the company’s premises at Lusaka’s Ngwerere area

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  9. This war is not about corona vurus for now but campaigns for next year this was a very good chance and opportunity for government to catch punish Prime TV and Prime TV should not expect government to change its mind this is a very good chance for them to finish Prime TV ahead of 2021 elections the only thing Prime TV can do is just to try and survive till we asher in a new government next year even the post newspaper should be ready to start next year when UPND comes in power.

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  10. Such tactics are testerment to the failed abysmal PF leadership…….
    After indebting Zambia , $17 billion later with so called development , nobody should be taking notice of the likes of prime tv….

    PF and lungu should be unassailable right now , but alas they are behaving like the common cader theiving com men they are….

    From brutallising the opposition, to gassing our own people, to banning private media, to forcing price controls on maize meal…..

    ………nothing you will do, PF and lungu , will mask your inadequacies and failures…you will try but you will find the hole getting deeper…your last hope is for covid 19 to get out of control so you ban elections in 2021…….and since your gassing plan failed , this covid thing has presented a new opportunity for…

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  11. I smell a rat here Mr shawa must be investigated by Prime TV board this guy might have been paid by government to say whatever he said because that was not normal i don’t trust PF they can do anything.

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  12. ……for you to hang on to power by completing the job you started with the gassings of our people…..

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  13. This issue started with Prime TV having a bigger audience than Znbc and Prime TV airing HH too much these guys are dead scared of HH they can do anything just to stop HH but it will not work they did the same to the post newspaper towards the elections of 2016 this time around you are late.

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  14. If the law counts in Zambia, Prime tv will be back on TopStar bouquet. UNIP triedbit during the early days of multi-party politics. Levy Mwanawasa showed them the law.

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  15. Chimbwi aitile impashi,noku mububa shamububa.Pride goes before a fall.Those who intend to stop sabscribing to TOP STAR,please stop no need to announce.Shawa asulila mwiida!

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  16. There is heavy cruelty playing out in this country. What is going on? Prime TV apologies aside, what was wrong with asking to be paid for an advert? Or what was wrong with Sangwa saying what he said? Just saying. There appears to be this high intolerance that is akin to the way kids are treated when they question the nakedness of their elders…

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  17. What is the size of viewership of Top Star? What is the size of viewership of DSTV/GoTV? If you can answer the above questions then you have the answer Can the Top Star subscribers sue Top Star for arbitrarily removing Prime TV which they have paid for from their bouquet. This Chinaman is pf inclined. Some chap from pf Secretariat is responsible for this. Not happy with prime TV for hosting opposition and more especially debates on pf lifeline bill 10. Mark my words, Dora will not rescind her decision anytime soon before 2021. It’s a pity that the private TV and radio stations are not United. They cannot even offer solidarity with their colleague. If anything some pf inclined stations are very excited about this.

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  18. Fighting a mosquito with a big hammer. This what it means when you publicly dare government machinery.

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  19. Prime TV should communicate to SES who rebroadcast the same Chinese Startime(Topstar) signal through their satellite SES 5 on Ku Band.
    In Nigeria , SES have have 13 new free-to-air (FTA) channels delivered as a multi-channel bouquet branded ‘PREMIUM.FREE’. Those households with any existing FTA satellite boxes are watching the new channels for free.
    In fact all the independent TV channels can have their own free bouquet not only for the Zambian audience but southern Africa as a whole.They generate their revenue though advertising and get nothing from Topstar.
    PRIME TV SHOULD FORGET ABOUT TOPSTAR WHO ONLY HAVE RIGHTS TO ZAMBIA.
    THINK BIG,THINK SOUTHERN AFRICA
    Address for SES Africa
    *******

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  20. For every action there is a reaction. The ministry of information made its decision as a competent body. Neither I nor the president can influence their work. They have delegated authority. It seems greed got to prime TV. How do you asked to be paid for sending an important message during these trying times. A bit of patriotism goes a long way. It is very unzambian to lack generosity. Kz

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  21. Shawa is not sleeping now. You see, being pompous for nothing does not pay. The massage you said you would not help GRZ to convey to the general public was not for the benefit of PF and Lungu but for the well being of Zambians. You must forthwith stop being childish Mr Shawa. You are causing stress on your workers as they are not assured of jobs given this situation. The other thing is that …Please let your TV be factual, impartial and neutral. What I mean is that let your TV provide neutral political analysis for and against all political parties. But you have only hosted UPND insults and false hood. Apologize on this also. You must be ashamed.

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  22. Am glad you have said ‘the media has a duty to inform and educate citizens, raising their awareness about the pandemic and providing them with information enabling them to take the necessary precautions as guided by the government’ but what did the bwana said during the meeting in the first place. in as much as they have free opinion the station is just tool bias, and all they see is negative from the government as if they are promoting one agenda best to know to themselves….i like the station but they should balance the news not only to see dark-side from the government…. Am not saying they should be praising the government but to report things as they are without taking sides and being bias…. they can do better than that i believe in their professionalism and they should not…

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  23. Will Africa ever come Out of ignorance? A clear sign of lack of leadership from Lungu. A Minister can have cramps and feel emotional and do things knowing that the Leader is toothless.

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  24. @Ayatollah

    If you still dream of a day when this PF government shall surrender power with all its infrastructural achievements to a novice fellow like HH, then you ARE a millennial DREAMER. Ask the POST.

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  25. Am appearing to zamtel to remove him from the optic fibre as well,he was warned by Dora on behalve of govt lusambo did the same ,please forgive him but dont engage him anymore. All govt dept should do the same.

  26. The post was like prime were are you now ba shawa wait for zamtel to do the same .next time dont dare the ruling govt of bene lusambo,ba siliya and bene sunday

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  27. All the government has done is that since this guy can not work with us, let us also not work with him. It is as simple as that. Why does Prime TV behave as if it does not need GRZ? Is Prime TV the only private broadcaster in Zambia? What did the other say when government asked for help on Corona Virus. So Prime TV wanted to be biting the hand that feeds it. For all those that want royal to HH, never there when you need him especially financially. Ask the likes of GBM and also what has UPND done towards Corona Virus other than castigating government.

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  28. All of you scumbugs gloating over the Prime TV removal from topstar platform are partisan cowards failing to see the big picture. Topstar is a foreign company and PTv is a Zambian company. Where’s your so called patriotism? This is the era of information free flow and don’t forget that PTv has counter balanced the lopsided ZNBC imposters who masquerade as journalststs when in fact they are PF propagandists.

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  29. Who has power to tax business and people? Is it govt or opposition? If u know the answer, don’t ever mention any opposition party.

  30. What primitive thinking. Ati ‘boma ni boma’. That’s why you accept mediocrity and dictatorships! A regime finds an excuse to gang up against a private broadcaster because it wants to rig elections again next year and you praise it!

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  31. Top star stands to loose. I see a lot of customers moving from the top star platform to follow channels which have Prime TV the current TV of choice.

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  32. As tax payers let’s all boycott TOP STAR now!
    As tax payers let’s all boycott TOP STAR now!
    As tax payers let’s all boycott TOP STAR now!
    Kaizar Zulu don’t get too excited, you will need Prime TV soon ask Chishimba Kambwili the former Roan MP and cabinet minister.

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  33. Just watched the video of Mr Gerald shawa responding to Information PS malupenga, I cannot believe that anyone can even defend that behaviour in the name of whatever? Mr Shawa behaved worse than a political cadre. The language, the gesture were all wrong for the owner of a prime TV station. Reducing oneself to such levels when you ought to live up to your status is just something else.

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  34. That is the proplem with Zambian entrepreneurs. They are so puffed up especially when ka ‘ticky’ is entering their coffers. Exactly the abuse Zambia suffered at the hands of comrade M’membe.
    When mula enters enters their coffers they want chochise na boma.
    Removal of Prime TV from the Top Star platform will limit the station’s outreach, and therefore limit the extent to which citizens can access and share information on the national COVID-19 response and other national developmental issues….” In the first instance, it was the nigga who refused to run Government sponsored SARS-CoV-2 awareness campaign.

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  35. The nigger is finished. Those who are supporting what he did won’t help him feed his children. Ukupoka icinsenda ku nkoko, kunakilila. Mr. Shawa humble yourself, it’s not too late. That apology didn’t seem to be genuine. Make a proper and genuine apology and ensure your employees carry out their duties professionally.
    I was disappointed with what your reporter did when the Samfya bridge was washed away. He behaved as if he was the first person to arrive on the scene. Even after the government had already assured the residents, according to their news, no government (district) official went their to check. They reported as if the people were very much neglected, and it was only your reporter from Lusaka who arrived there seconds after the disaster.

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  36. Anyone with a different view from your own you ban them post newspaper,Sangwa and now Prime TV pure dictatorship.

  37. But who subcribes to that *****ic plateform called topstar DSTV and GOTV are the way to after all they are african

  38. Right on, Sichalwe. That’s definition of a dictatorship. You don’t deserve to live because you disagree with me.

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  39. Very childish and unprofessional way of resolving media issues by blacking out prime tv!!!! This is how development in zambia takes effect…Good luck people!!

  40. Very childish and unprofessional way of resolving media issues by blacking out prime tv!!!! This is how development in zambia takes effect…Good luck people!!

  41. Warlord, you are a qualified swine. Do you not know that Zambian government is a majority shareholder of topstar? Were you born a swine or did you become one off the streets? Patriotism, foreign company, you swine.

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