Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila has charged that some media houses have become political scavengers and abandoned their role of informing, educating and entertaining.
And Mwila says within the seven years the Patriotic Front has been in power, the media industry and broadcasting subsector has grown rapidly.
Meanwhile, Mwila says although PF believes in press freedom, it’s also of the view that media freedom comes with responsibility.
In PF’s weekly news letter to News Diggers! Mwila stated that as the country moved closer to attaining the Vision 2030 of becoming a “prosperous middle-income country by 2030”, a diverse media industry was crucial to disseminating information and providing checks and balances.
He bragged that within the seven years that the PF had been in power, the media industry and broadcasting subsector had grown more rapidly with 111 radio and 42 television stations.
“There are a number of key developments the country is presently enjoying under the PF government, that seemed farfetched under the previous regime seven years ago. For instance when the Patriotic Front formed government, in 2011, there were only 40 Radio Stations; and a modest number of less than five Television stations operating in our nation. However, within the seven years PF has been in office, the media industry and broadcasting subsector has grown exponentially,” he stated.
“The government has opened up and expanded the airwaves to hitherto unimaginable levels; there are currently 111 radio and 42 television stations currently licensed in Zambia.”
Mwila stated that the unprecedented growth of the media industry in Zambia was a direct result of the implementation of the Patriotic Front manifesto.
He added that the splendour of PF’s achievements outshines the envy, fake news and yellow journalism of their critics.
“PF government under President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is committed to sustaining the gains made in the media industry during the last seven years under our watch; we are resolved to continue fostering an environment for a diverse and pluralistic media fraternity to thrive in. Like a starry night sky, the splendour of our achievements outshines the darkness of the maice, envy, fake news and yellow journalism of our detractors. No one can dare take away from our track record in opening up the airwaves,” Mwila stated.
He however stated that although PF believed in various freedoms, the party was of the belief that media freedom came with responsibility.
Mwila added that the broadcasting industry in Zambia was governed by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act, hence any breach was against the laws of Zambia.
“Every licence has its limits. Whilst we are avid believers in various freedoms including freedom of the press, we believe as all right thinking believe, that every freedom has its responsibilities. The broadcasting industry in Zambia is governed by the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act. Any breach is against the laws of the Republic of Zambia. Media freedom comes with responsibility,” he stated.
“The freedom that comes with a Broadcasting Licence does not walk alone; separating a broadcast licence from the responsibilities and obligations that go with it as promulgated in the IBA Act would be as irresponsible as removing a suckling child from its mother’s breast and placing it in the bosom of a wild animal.”
Meanwhile, Mwila charged that some media houses had become political scavengers and they had abandoned their role of informing, educating and entertaining.
“Sadly, some media houses have taken this route and they have become political scavengers; abandoning their role of informing, educating and entertaining; they have instead resorted to breaching the terms of their licences; feasting on twisted political agendas and foraging opinionated news – thereby misinforming, mis-educating and mis-entertaining the nation with their inflammatory and irresponsible over-hyped reporting designed to arouse violent sentiments amongst citizens,” stated Mwila.