UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka says the PF should be the last ones to complain about ZNBC’s coverage.
Commenting on former second deputy speaker and PF member Mwimba Malama’s remarks that ZNBC had not been serious about covering the opposition despite the President’s assurance that the media would operate freely under his government, Mucheleka said the PF were having a taste of their own medicine.
“They should not even be complaining, they must be the last ones to complain. They are clearly having a taste of their own medicine. It is very unfortunate that it should be coming from the PF. I think they have not come to terms with the fact that they have lost power and they are in denial. The only thing he is talking about is lack of coverage of former President Edgar Lungu, I am sure he is missing his face on TV that is why he thinks ZNBC is not covering PF. For Malama to think that ZNBC will be covering Davies Mwila and Edgar Lungu everyday may not happen. I know for instance that the vice-president of the PF, honourable (Given) Lubinda is often covered and others,” Mucheleka said.
He however said his party had made it clear that ZNBC should give fair coverage to everyone.
“But important for us is that we will not behave like them. And we want to encourage ZNBC and all the media houses to give everyone fair coverage. As UPND we have made it very clear that ZNBC as a public broadcaster must be fair and give coverage to those in the opposition such as the PF. These are things that are expected of ZNBC. Ours is not what we used to see under PF, we want to do things differently. There is a Minister of Information who has been appointed, she will be able to walk the talk to what is contained in the UPND manifesto with regards to how the media must be used to promote or create platforms for different stakeholders including political parties,” said Mucheleka.
Last week, Malama said he had noticed that ZNBC had not been serious about covering the opposition so far.
“They (UPND) condemned ZNBC like hell for not showing their programmes. I thought they would understand. I am happy that the President himself said ZNBC should also cover the opposition. We are going to see, so far, I have not seen anything serious in terms of covering the opposition. They need to understand how ZNBC, Times of Zambia, Daily Mail, the police and civil servants operate, they work with the government of the day mainly. The President has said ‘cover the opposition’ but they, ZNBC, fear their own shadow. Even if they know they are supposed to cover every Zambian, they will not take whatever the opposition is saying for the fear of being fired. They do that because they want to keep their jobs,” said Malama.