Chief Government Spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga says the seizure of a printing machine for The Mast newspapers from Fred M’membe’s house must not be seen as a government ploy to muzzle the private media because it has everything to do with the appointed liquidator (Lewis Mosho).

At a briefing yesterday, Mulenga said it was unfounded to claim that Government wanted to muzzle the press as it had in the last five years made strides to ensure that the country’s media thrived.

And Mulenga described Government’s decision to issue 57 broadcasting licenses and 111 to radio stations through the Independent Broadcasting Authority as ‘unprecedented achievement.’

“The seizure of a printing machine for The Mast newspapers must not be politicised because it has nothing to do with Government but the liquidators. Everyone knows [that] the issues surrounding the mast newspapers,
and I do not want to comment any further because it is before the courts,” she said.

She said Government was not undermining freedom of the press as perceived by some sections of society, hence its decision to give licenses to radio and television stations. Mulenga who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services also urged the media to conduct themselves professionally by reporting
objectively and truthfully.

“The media must give positive and factual information to help build the nation and not destroy it,” said The Minister, adding that Government would protect both public and private journalists from all forms of harassment and intimidation.