It is not true that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation does not cover the opposition, says Minister of Information Kampamba Mulenga.
Speaking at a PF interactive forum on Friday, the chief government spokesperson said accusations that ZNBC never covers the opposition are just political.
“To the question of whether our colleagues from the opposition are being covered [by ZNBC], yes, they are being covered. Recently, president for EEP, President Tayali was being covered,” Mulenga said as the audience burst into laughter.
“Yes, you wanted to know whether they are being covered. There is also Dr Pule, he was also at mass media this morning, he was covered.”
She said there was no policy which barred certain political parties from being covered.
“Then again, it is also an opinion that is based on a political party, should they shun ZNBC? We have no policy that regulates anybody to say you, you belong to this political party don’t go there, I have asked everybody, I have asked my colleagues in the opposition several times to say when you have a program, and again, ZNBC has an editorial policy, it has a programme suite. You just don’t walk in because you are an opposition leader and say cover me now. No! They have programmes,” she said.
Mulenga said the newly launched ZANIS channel would feature all political parties.
“So what you do is, just like everybody else does, just go in and say ‘I want to be covered’ we will be more than glad to cover you. And deliberately, because there has been this noise that our colleagues in the opposition have not been covered, we have set up the ZANIS channel. Whether you are in the opposition or ruling party you just have to be covered because with the coming of digital migration, your people will ask ‘do we have a member of parliament? ‘We are watching in Kalulushi, the MP was being showed but us they are not showing us’. It is up to individual members of parliament and individual presidents to say ‘can I have coverage’ and mind you, ZANIS will be 24 hours so it will be looking for content so even in Monze, Mazabuka, Kaputa, bring the content you showcase your people. And parliament is part of ZNBC. Most of the time you hear our colleagues are talking, we don’t edit, you watch it live and now we have even extended a mile to say can you talk about your constituencies. That segment during tea break if you see it, we cover it. So it is not true. Some of these things are just mere politics,” she said.
Mulenga also assured the nation that the K5 TV levy was not a waste of money because they would get good local content.
Meanwhile, Mulenga encouraged women in politics to be strong and ignore destructive criticism.
“All of us as women need to stand up and say this is our time. We have the potential and in politics, in this game, they will call you a prostitute, they will call you names, it doesn’t matter. The final name should be what God calls you. They will say negative things about you just so that you quit and say this is for men…I remember what president Sata used to say, in this field, close your ears and have a big heart because if you open your ears wide, you will explode,” said Mulenga.
“For me when people talk negative about me, then I think I am not doing a good job. Because the negativity is what drives me, I will wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and encourage myself.”