Concerned residents in Mkushi District have appealed to the Ministry of Information and Media to consider resuming the publication and distribution of local language newspapers and magazines.
Presenting the appeal, Charles Chanda of Show Grounds residential area said that there is still high demand for local language tabloids called “Imbila” that the Ministry previously distributed through ZANIS (Zambia News and Information Services).
Mr Chanda said that the demand for these publications is high in both urban and remote parts of the District.
He said that these tabloids were serving a critical role of enlightening residents about Government policies, as well as incorporating feedback from residents on various topics.
He said that apart from this, these newspapers were impacting positively on the quest to raise literacy levels, particularly in remote areas.
Mr Chanda, who is an ex-ZCCM (Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine) employee, charged that the reading culture is generally low in most of the communities, adding that the situation is worsened by the absence of a public library.
“There is need for a public library in order to encourage reading culture, research and general knowledge amongst residents of all ages”, he said.
He said that apart from this, there is need to consider resuscitating the literacy classes program that was previously jointly facilitated by Ministry of education and the department of community development.
“These literacy classes used to help in raising the reading culture amongst elders and the young who had been illiterate before this intervention”, he commented.