Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya says there is a deliberate campaign by some people to create public distrust in investigative institutions and the ongoing crusade against corruption adding that the problem of corruption is being exaggerated.
Speaking when the Canadian High Commissioner to Zambia Pamela O’Donnell paid a courtesy call on her, Monday, Siliya said government had made tremendous strides in the fight against corruption as evidenced by the creation of institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Drug Enforcement Commission as well as the enactment of the Whistle Blower’s law, among others.
She said there was, however, a deliberate campaign by some people to create public distrust in the said institutions and the ongoing crusade against corruption, in general.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Information, Siliya said the problem of corruption in Zambia was being exaggerated.
And Siliya expressed concern that the mainstream media had abandoned its agenda setting role by relying on social media platforms as sources of news.
“I am always receiving phone calls from journalists to comment on issues they have seen on the social media instead of issues that they themselves have investigated. This is unfortunate as journalists are regarded as the most intelligent people who are supposed to be conveyors of authentic information to the public,” Siliya said.
Siliya stated that fake news and cyber-crimes were a serious global challenge that affected both developing and developed countries.
“Zambia is calling on nations of the world to work together in coming up with laws to police and protect citizens against fake news and other cyber-crimes brought about by the emergence of information communication technologies. She said fake news and cyber crimes are a serious global problem affecting both developing and developed countries. The problem is also a serious threat to the survival of the traditional media such as the newspapers, radio and television,” she said.
Siliya said she was, however, happy that journalists in Zambia had realized the need to separate themselves from “quacks” by coming up with a mechanism to regulate their professional conduct.
“One of the priorities for government has been to galvanize support from the media on self statutory regulation and now the media understands that this is the right way to go to save the profession,” said Siliya.