Kambwili’s threats of statutory regulation shock MISA Zambia
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia is shocked with Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, Chishimba Kambwili’s threat to introduce state regulatory measures against the media owing to a story carried by The Post Newspaper on Tuesday 13th October, 2015.
According to a statement released by MISA Zambia, the minister’s threats are a direct infringement on media freedom which Zambia has enjoyed despite many hindrances.
MISA charged that for journalists to operate with professional autonomy, their editorial and operational independence must be guaranteed without any threat of undue control from government as was proposed by the minister.
“There are a lot of laws currently in existence that are inimical to media freedom in Zambia and is therefore saddening that government plans to introduce state regulation to add to the unfavorable media environment,’’ the statement reads.
MISA also reminded Mr. Kambwili that there is the self- regulation mechanism which was developed by media practitioners and is also being implemented through the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC).
The organization stressed that it will oppose all forms of state regulation through all available means including legal channels as state regulation is not progressive for a democratic country like Zambia and is suggestive of a dictatorial governance system that aims to stifle media freedom.
MISA further warned the minister to desist from threats and practices against the media as he is fond of doing so despite him being Minister of Information and Broadcasting, a portfolio that should help the media industry to develop.
MISA Zambia said it will therefore issue an alert to all cooperating partners both within and outside Africa as the minister’s remarks are tantamount to censorship.
In a story carried by the Daily Nation Newspaper on Wednesday, Mr Kambwili requested opposition political parties to support government in its quest to introduce regulatory measures to regulate the media.
The story carried by the Post alleged that President Lungu sneaks out of State House for personal errands. This was after the President featured on a breakfast show on Saturday, October 10th, 2015.
There currently exists a self-regulation mechanism through a body (Zambia Media Ethics Council) set up by media practitioners to actualize the self-regulation mechanism.