After backlash from various stakeholders over its position on the attacks on broadcasting media houses by Patriotic Front Cadres, the Independent Broadcasting Authority has changed its position and now claims it stands with the media houses over the attacks.
IBA Director General Josephine Mapoma was quoted in some sections of the media advising broadcasting media houses to air pre-recorded interviews to avoid being attacked, a statement that was deemed as an endorsement of the attacks on media institutions by the PF.
Mrs Mapoma advised broadcasting stations to pre-record certain sources to reduce the risk of being attacked following the disruption of radio programs of selected radio stations that were hosting UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema in Muchinga Province via phone.
But IBA Board Chairperson Mabel Mung’omba has differed Mrs Mapoma on the unfortunate incidences that have been recorded at Muchinga, Mpika and Isoka Radio Stations.
Mrs Mung’omba said the Independent Broadcasting Authority shares the same position that was stated by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services in a statement issued on Sunday, 17th May 2020.
“In the statement referred to, the Minister categorically indicated that government remains resolute in its support and promotion of media freedoms in the country, and therefore does not support any form of attacks on media houses”, she said.
Mrs Mung’omba has condemned in the strongest terms harassment and threats of violence against any Broadcasting Station in the country.
She has sympathized with the Stations that have been attacked by suspected cadres.
“We wish to show our solidarity with you and encourage you to remain steadfast as you perform your noble duties of informing, educating and entertaining the audience”, she added.
She has assured Licensees that the IBA will engage key stakeholders to pursue various options that will help to put an end to acts of harassment and violence against broadcasting houses and the sources.
To promote a pluralistic broadcasting industry in Zambia through fair, transparent and effective regulation, Mrs Mung’omba has encouraged broadcasting media houses to promote on air, the Complaints Procedure as stipulated in Section 34 of the IBA Act of 2002.
Furthermore, she has advised broadcasting media houses to report any form of violence on the Station to the Police saying the IBA stands with them in stopping acts of violence on Broadcasting Stations.