THE Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has given Muvi Television a final warning after finding the station guilty of unprofessional conduct.
IBA Board chairperson, Mabel Mung’omba, said a clear case against Muvi TV had been established over the manner it handled its “Special Assignment” programme which featured Economic and Equity Party (EEP) president Chilufya Tayali.
Ms Mung’omba said IBA was incensed with the conduct of the moderator who allowed Mr Tayali to make serious allegations without providing evidence and further failing to guide him against making unsubstantiated claims.
She sounded a warning to Muvi TV, saying IBA would be compelled to take punitive measures as prescribed by the law if the station was found wanting again.
“The Authority hereby gives Muvi TV a final warning failure to which the Authority will not hesitate to invoke Section 29 of the IBA (Amendment) Act Number 26 of 2010 which gives the Board the power to suspend, revoke or cancel any broadcasting licence, issued under the Act,” Ms Mung’omba said.
Ms Mung’omba explained that IBA gave Muvi TV an opportunity to exculpate itself as provided for in the IBA Act.
“In arriving at this decision the board is on firm ground because the due process of the law was followed in finding Muvi TV guilty of unprofessional conduct by giving the station an opportunity to be heard on 18th May, 2021,” she stated.
Ms Mung’omba said Muvi TV has had a poor compliance record in the past.
She recalled how IBA suspended the station’s license in 2016 for unethical conduct, before, during and after the 2016 general elections.
Ms Mung’omba also pointed out that the station had been receiving complaints from the general public.
“The station has had a number of complaints raised against it by members of the public including invasion of privacy by filing and conducting interviews at a business premise without obtaining permission and unauthorised use of a signal of another station,” she said.
Ms Mung’omba recollected that on April 30, this year IBA cautioned Muvi TV for failure to exercise good moral and ethical judgment when it featured Poor People’s Party president Alex Muliokela.
“The Authority directed the station to guard against broadcasting material which may cause humiliation, distress and violate human dignity contrary to Section 33 of the IBA Act Number 17 of 2002,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms Mung’omba warned media houses against being reckless and irresponsible in their reporting in the run-up to the August 12 general elections.