Zambia Council for Social Development says government to reverse the K2 TV Levy increment because ZNBC is biased and only used to advance political interests of the ruling party.

In a statement yesterday, ZCSD executive director Lewis Mwape stated that ZNBC has contributed to hatred and divisions in the country as it did not embrace diversity in its coverage.

“The Zambia Council for Social Development is calling on government to reverse the recently pronounced increment of Television Levy from the previous K3 to K5. The increment which was made by Finance Minister Honorable Felix Mutati during his presentation of the 2018 National Budget, is not justifiable as no convincing reasons were given for the increment,” Mwape stated.

“We have observed that TV levy has not for a long time helped to improve the operations of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, which was the main purpose of its establishment. ZNBC has continued being used to advance the political interests of any given Political Party in Power at the expense of representing the views of the masses. Today ZNBC cannot be referred to as a “Public Broadcaster” as majority members of the Public do not benefit from the biased programming of the institution. ZNBC has further contributed to the divisions and hatred in the country.”

Mwape stated that ZNBC had deliberately denied coverage of those with divergent views.

“We have for a long time noticed that ZNBC does not embrace diversity in their coverage as they have deliberately denied coverage to individuals and orgnisations with divergent views from those in the ruling party. Freedom of Expression which ZNBC has not promoted is an ingredient of peace and unity building and could have been used as a motivation for public ownership through contribution of TV levies by a willing citizenry,” he stated.
Mwape demanded for parliament to do away with the law that empowers ZNBC to collect TV levy.
“We further demand that parliament considers to amend the ZNBC (Amendment) ACT No. 16 of 2010, specifically do away with Part IV, Section 25 which empowers ZNBC to collect TV levy. Laws that merely empower institutions and disempower citizens must be rejected. This law has NOT made any attempt to empower the public to hold ZNBC accountable yet it is a crime for citizens not pay TV levy,” he stated.

Mwape stated that the increment was just a burden to majority Zambians struggling to earn a living.

“Digitalisation of TV communication requires new laws that goes with the cost of digital satellite communication and therefore this increment is unnecessary and a burden on the majority Zambians who have been struggling to access basic human needs such as food, clothes and clean drinking water. Furthermore, there is lack of sensitization on the new introduced mode of payment through subscription fee as it is not clear if people who are subscribed to more than one signal provider, will they have to pay TV levy to all? asked Mwape.