Chishimba Kambwili Hints On Media Censorship.
CHISHIMBA Kambwili says the government will have no option but to start regulating the media.
In this case “regulating the media” means censoring the media or limiting to what extent media bodies can go as far as informing the public which is tantamount to the lack of freedom of free speech which every Zambian is entitled.
Addressing journalists in Lusaka yesterday, Kambwili, the chief government spokesperson and information minister, said the print media had failed to regulate itself and the government will be forced to do so.
“I want to warn particularly the print media that you asked to regulate yourselves and we gave you an opportunity as government to regulate yourselves, but I must say we are extremely disappointed that the body that has been given the opportunity to regulate the print media has failed lamentably.
Don’t force government to do a statutory regulation of the print media. The body that is mandated by yourselves to regulate the media so far has failed. We will be left with no option but to regulate the print media.
We are losing our patience as government,” Kambwili said.
He said the government had received information that some media houses were paid by political parties to provide positive coverage.
“Some of the media houses are running programmes to promote particular political parties, at the same time giving out news that is not factual by painting other parties black. I don’t think as government, through IBA, we will sit down and watch this situation. They take an agenda of a political party and drive it,” Kambwili said. “There are reports of corruption that have been reported to my office where some media houses are being paid by some political parties to specifically be covering those parties and avoid criticising them even when they are wrong. We are in receipt of information as government that some media houses in print and also community radio stations, some of them are being compromised by political parties who are paying them money to be covering them and painting other political parties black. I don’t think IBA [Independent Broadcasting Authority] will be any kind to any media house that will be proven to receiving money from political parties in order for them to cover them positively and avoid criticising them when they have gone wrong.”