The government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that it creates an enabling environment for the media to operate independently and free from political interference and intimidation.
Northern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Sineva Kambenja said President Hakainde Hichilema’s new dawn government believes in the freedom of expression and dissemination of information.
He indicated that government is committed to fostering press freedom through creating a conducive environment for the media.
Mr. Kambenja noted that the media has a big role of informing the public on various issues adding that government is committed to ensuring that it is protected from any forms of intimidation and harassment.
Mr Kambenja said when he officiated at the Radio Mano elective general assembly held at Chengelo Nursing School in Kasama.
He said the Provincial administration will support the station to ensure people within and beyond the province are updated on developmental projects occuring in the province.
He further appealed to the community through their delegates to render the necessary support to the station through guidance, suggestions and proposals to enable it realize it’s relevance to the community.
“As we elect new office bearers, let us appreciate the challenges our radio station is facing and put in concerted efforts for it to thrive and also paying of affiliation fees as this is the only signifying factor of you owning the radio station” he said.
Mr. Kambenja further urged the station management to prioritise the concerns, needs and grievances of the community as they are the main stakeholders of the radio station.
And speaking at the same event, Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Director General Josephine Mapoma commended the media for the positive role played before, during and after elections to ensure peaceful elections through the professional conduct that it exhibited.
Ms. Mapoma cautioned the media to adhere to the professional ethics following their new found press freedom as some reports have the ability to cause injury to people.
“Before elections media houses played a big role to ensure that there was peaceful elections in the country and because of that there has been few cases of non-compliance,” she said.
“I know there have been pronouncements to do with media freedom but media freedoms have got limits and IBA was formed in order to create sanity in the broadcasting industry in Zambia there are dos and dont’s, there are standards that you need to follow as a media house and we are happy to note that you have tried your very best to keep those standards, ” she said.
Ms. Mapoma also commended radio Mano management for being one of the few community radio stations in the country that has adhered to the constitution and followed the provisions of the IBA act since its establishment.
She further commended the station for its unwavering efforts of media coverage in the province and urged them to continue upholding professionalism in their execution of duty.
Radio Mano today held its elective general assembly to elect new office bearers and receive financial report for the previous year.
The general assembly is held every after three years and this year’s event was attend by various stake holders from the church, Civil society Organisations, Government departments, Radio Mano trustees and Management, Bemba royal establishment, MISA Zambia and Non-governmental organisations.
The community was represented by delegates from the 150 registered listener clubs affiliated to the station.