UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has played out a PF agenda by suspending Prime Television’s broadcasting licence.

In a statement, Wednesday, Hichilema had demanded for the immediate lift of the suspension saying failure to do so would prove that President Edgar Lungu is a dictator.

“The suspension of Prime Television broadcasting rights must be lifted immediately, if not done then the people have every right to brand Mr Edgar Lungu, a dictator. Ours will be to empower the private Media so that they bring out issues affecting our people and then we can act on those concerns and not shutting them down. This is how modern Governments operate. They need feedback from their citizens. We will allow the media to give a voice to the voiceless because in the UPND we believe that it is Zambia and Zambians first,” Hichilema stated.

Hichilema stated that the move to shut independent media houses was unacceptable.

“Human rights, freedoms and liberties are under constant threat in our country and this must be a source of concern to each one of us. Our statement comes in the light of the closure of Prime TV under suspicious circumstance by the IBA with obvious instructions from PF. This is a gagging order on the media which plays a critical role in our country. Media intimidation, curtailing of freedom of speech and expression are all signs of a dictatorship that Zambia has become. Therefore, as people that believe in Media freedom, we would like to condemn the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) for playing out a PF agenda by closing privately owned Prime Television. The reasons stated for the closure are nothing but political and gagging the media. This move is unacceptable and all well-meaning Zambians must condemn it. We state so because IBA has never taken time to take such an action on ZNBC an institution funded by the Zambians despite it’s unfair and biased coverage. You do not need to be media expert to know how biased ZNBC has become since 2011,” stated Hichilema.