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Monday, June 27, 2022

Media Liaison Committee expresses shock at the rejection of the Draft Bill

General News Media Liaison Committee expresses shock at the rejection of the Draft Bill

The Media Liaison Committee (MLC) has expressed shock with the position taken by the Media Owners Association of Zambia (MOAZ) to reject the final draft of the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) bill.

Committee Chairperson Enock Ngoma says he is surprised that the Association has denied ever being engaged by the Committee in drafting the ZAMEC bill when in actual sense they either declined to attend meetings when called upon or delegated junior officers to represent them.

Mr. Ngoma has further told Q-news in an interview that the Media Owners were part of the first ever Insaka which the Committee called to discuss issues of media self-regulation in Zambia where over three hundred journalists from across the country convened and voted for self-regulation that is backed by an Act of Parliament and not a voluntary one.

And Mr. Ngoma has refuted assertions that the ZAMEC bill provides for any punitive measure to be taken on journalists for committing an offence in the line of duty.

He explained that the only sanctions in the bill relate to an erring media house being required to retract, apologize or make a correction to a particular information disseminated proved to be inaccurate and injurious to a particular person or institution.

Earlier today, MOAZ members convened a press conference were they rejected and demanded for the immediate withdrawal of the ZAMEC bill from the Ministry of Information and Media where it was resubmitted by MLC citing detrimental effects on the media landscape in Zambia if enacted.

Earlier MOAZ released the statement below:

MEDIA OWNERS OPPOSE DRAFT ZAMBIA MEDIA COUNCIL BILL

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

THE Media Owners Association of Zambia regrets that two influential organizations in Zambia’s media space have withdrawn their participation from the Media Self-Regulation Technical Working Group (TWG). The mandate of the TWG, which is to bring about the birth of the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC), is too noble, to be sacrificed at the altar of expedience.

The media owners believe that media self-regulation must be carried to the latter and in word without cosmetics. Therefore, we are not surprised that the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia and BBC Media Action have taken this path of leaving the technical working group.

Without MISA Zambia and the BBC Media Action in the technical working group, we wonder who the Media Liaison Committee (MLC) is representing in the media self- regulation process in Zambia.

What we understand is that the Media Liaison Committee was an organizing committee for the World Press Day drawn from various media houses and representatives were supposed to rotate each successive year, based on nominations from media owners.

Therefore, the permanent leadership representative in the Media Liaison Committee has left the group without true membership from media owners and workers. This is the reason Media Owners rarely participate in the Media Liaison Committee meetings.

We therefore wonder which media organizations are represented by the MLC and from which body they draw the mandate to represent the media in Zambia, if the media owners and or their media houses are neither involved nor privy to the said Committee.

As media owners, we are opposed to the final draft of the Zambia Media Council Bill which the Media Liaison Committee has resubmitted to the Ministry of Information and Media to be taken to Parliament.

This is because we have noticed a number of clauses that are detrimental to the development of the media space in Zambia, and if left unchecked, we may find ourselves creating a monster that will create problems for the media in Zambia.

We believe, like lawyers and medical doctors, media personnel cannot be subjected to punishment by people who know little about the profession through an Act of Parliament.

As major stakeholders in the media landscape, we would like to engage with the Ministry of Information and Media (MIM) and the Ministry of Justice on media self-regulation and the current dangers in the final draft of the Zambia Media Council Bill.

The Media owners want an ideal self-regulation mechanism which will protect the profession rather than drive fear in the journalists and other workers whose job is to inform, entertain and educate the public.

In this world where democracies are promoting freedom of speech, it will be a sad day to subject free thinkers to laws which threaten their standing because of jail time and other practices which limit their public participation.

We are inviting the media personnel, cooperating partners, and Government to support the new path which we wish to take in coming up with a truly independent Self- Regulation mechanism.

To this effect, a position paper is being prepared to be submitted to the
relevant bodies.

Signed:

Evans Banda – MOAZ PRESIDENT

Davies Kabuswe- SECRETARY GENERAL

4 COMMENTS

  1. When we tried to get you bill 10 you decided to not support it because your tonga hero told you not to . See your lives

    Hh is like an attractive prostitute who is riddled with disease. During elections he promised the world and made himself appear attractive. Millions of gullible desperate aroused voters decided to sleep with him, and now they realise that they made a mistake but it is too late because they have riddled themselves already with the disease of poverty.

  2. Media needs protection from people like Amos Malupenga, Dora Siliya, Richard Sakala, Dick Jere you know journalists who show different colors when in authority. Even people like Fred Mmembe who use journalism for political ends. The latter is why media owners must be separated from media practitioners.
    Let media owners have their own representative body because most of them know nothing about journalism. They in fact are in conflict with journalists. Media owners in Zambia often interfere with editorial decisions or news publishing which isn’t allowed in democracy.

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