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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Minister of Information and Media outlines her Ministry’s Agenda, Access to Information legislation to be prioritized

Headlines Minister of Information and Media outlines her Ministry's Agenda, Access to...

Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda says the realignment, renaming and change of the nomenclature of the former Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services reaffirms that her ministry is responsible for all forms of mass media and not just broadcasting.

Ms. Kasanda says this is because the ministry has always been responsible for all forms of mass media, that is, both print and electronic.

Speaking during a meeting with senior management of the Ministry of Information and Media in Lusaka today, Ms. Kasanda said the realignment and renaming of the Ministry has also resulted in a slight adjustment in the portfolio functions of the ministry.

“As you may be aware, this Ministry has been realigned and renamed. It was formerly called Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. It is now called the Ministry of Information and Media. This has since been approved by the National Assembly, as required by the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia,” she said.

She said under the new arrangement the Cinematography Policy and Theatre Policy which were previously held by the Ministry have now been transferred to other line ministries.

Ms. Kasanda named the Ministry’s revised core functions as Broadcasting and television services; Information and Media Policy; and Information Services.

She explained that under the three core functions, President Hakainde Hichilema has tasked the ministry to prioritise the enactment of the Access to Information legislation which she described as key to the promotion of transparency, good governance and full participation of citizens in the democratic process.

The Minister said this is also in line with international standards, taking into account the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Principles which were endorsed by Commonwealth Law Ministers and noted by Heads of Government in Durban in 1999.

“As this meeting progresses, I will be getting an update from the Permanent Secretary and the team, so that we make resolutions on the next steps. We will not be looking at why previous governments did not enact the legislation. The President has directed that Access to Information legislation must be enacted. We have to move in that direction and we will move with speed,” Ms. Kasanda said.

Information and Media Minister Chushi Kasanda
Information and Media Minister Chushi Kasanda

On Media self-regulation, Ms Kasanda said the United Party for National Development (UPND) believes that media organisations and journalists should set and supervise their professional standards and codes of practice.

She said Government also wants media owners to recognise that ownership entails a commitment to inform citizens about matters of public interest and not merely to advance partisan or personal interests.
Ms. Kasanda observed that it is part of the media’s responsibility to ensure that journalists are adequately trained and that their private interests do not distort their reporting of public issues.

“Journalistic ethics require that the media should report accurately and fairly, issue corrections, allow a fair opportunity to reply when appropriate and, subject to legitimate public interest, respect the right to privacy, particularly of minors,” Ms. Kasanda advised.

The Minister also advised the media and journalists’ organisations to establish credible complaints systems to adjudicate on alleged breaches of professional codes of practice and to provide members of the public with effective redress for unprofessional behavioural conduct.

“In view of the foregoing, I will be getting an updated from the Permanent Secretary and his team on how far the process of establishing a media self-regulation mechanism has gone. We need to conclude this process as soon as possible,” she added.

And Ms. Kasanda has said the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is a media platform for all Zambians to exercise their freedom of expression.

Commenting on the Editorial Independence of ZNBC which she said will be one of her key priorities, Ms. Kasanda said freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy and underpins good governance, public accountability and respect for all human rights.

She said the UPND-led government respects the right to freedom of expression and will promote the free flow of information and ideas by allowing ZNBC to operate as a public broadcaster so that whoever is not covered by the private media will find space on the ZNBC platform.

“We will enhance legislation so that ZNBC and other public media outlets serve as common platforms for all Zambians to exercise their freedom of expression. People’s expectations of this government are very high and the President has said that weshould exceed the people’s expectations. We will be addressing a lot of issues in the information and media sector,” Ms. Kasanda assured.

Yesterday, parliament approved the realignment, renaming and change of the nomenclature of the then Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services now called the Ministry of Information and Media.

Information and Media Minister Chushi Kasanda
Information and Media Minister Chushi Kasanda

15 COMMENTS

  1. There is need to revisit and renegotiate the Chinese control of zambias digital broadcasting rights……….

    That $260 million digitisation price tag is marred in corruption driven by commission kickbacks……..

    Zambia is disadvantaged by that deal as most revenue streams go to China….

    Who was the 10 or 15% commission paid to , like most GRZ contracts ?

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  2. Just asking ….how old is our minister ? She has a sweet babyish face……. a genuine youth. Well done Mr President. You promised to include the youth in your cabinet. On this one you have scored….WELLDONE SIR and a A BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR MINISTER!!!

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  3. First get rid of Amos and all the heads from znbc, Zanis, daily mail and times of zambia. Then put in place people who will be neutral and not puppets of the ministry and who will be bold enough to report the facts and not just praising government.

  4. @ no,3……..You seem to shocked that Amos Malupenga is still PS. You have to live with it…..PF IS STILL IN CONTROL OF GOVT!!!! Aba bambi are just observers.

  5. What am I seeing? Why should Malupenga still be the PS? Oh I am reliably told that these guys still need to hold office, whilst they are being investigated. We dont want to start looking for them for questioning. Infact they have been told not to go out of the country – wapya muzi. Let them be there so that we can audit the properly. Some have already started shivering – Abwela not Aleisa no. We are here!!! Remember that these are the guys who were controlling cash flow in Ministries so we need their stories as we position our own PS. These PS were a conveyor belt for siphoning cash from Ministries.

  6. Kafusha you didn’t even read… what is that a arm or an erection?
    Yes Chushi is hotty and be accompanying HH to USA next week. If she goes on maternity leave, don’t blame me.

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  7. Malupenga was a political appointee so it remains the politicians’task to remove him. And fast.
    This is all why civil service positions should never be politicized. They should be left to civil service professionals. The president and his ruling party should keep their hands off the civil service and allow workers to be managed by the civil service commission
    The minister is talking good stuff. Lets make Znbc a public broadcaster and make it a custodian of free speech.

  8. These guys are playing with fire …no wonder the dull chap Bowman still says PF is still in govt. You can not surround new ministers with old rot like Amos and expect to see change!!

  9. Malunga and other PSs and heads of institutions will remain in office until audits are concluded. I remember seeing a statement like this some time last week.

  10. This Malupenga guy became the mouth piece of PF government and was always defending wrong things. As PS he did not see anything wrong with the abuse of the public media by the PF, he did not see anything wrong with UPND being completely blacked out on all public media. He did not see anything wrong with abuse of the public order act, and Police brutality. He spearheaded the firing of the President of the Residents doctors association for merely asking for what was due to his members. If UPND keep such people longer in offices, contamination is guaranteed

  11. The minister is trying to educate you people on the new developments and what prompted the change of name, instead of debating or adding to her reasoning people are preoccupied with others losing jobs. HH said he will not fire anyone in the national interest. Don’t be forgetful please. Politics are deeper than what we see. What explanation is there for a finance minister in RB who was incharge of the treasury when RB was called corrupt, today the same person was the first minister HH appointed. Silvia Masebo with the hearses issues when she was local government minister, today she is prefered over Cornelias, the list is endless. Ala ama politics kuti yakulwalika BP alo mwali wina. Pleas take it easy your families still need you. HH will only do what preserves him.

  12. @Loyd. Unfortunately Chushi Kasanda is not the sharpest tool in the tool box. She will need a lot of hand holding by Technocrats around her otherwise that ministry will be a total disaster with extremely poor leadership…believe me I know her very well. That is a classic example of ‘beauty with no brains’.

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