By GIDEON NYENDWA
THE Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) has said that the police call out issued to KBN TV, barely a day after exposing what is alleged to have been a conversation between a State House aide and a Permanent Secretary colluding to kill democracy, is a clear abuse of state institutions by government.
ZIIMA consultant Wilson Pondamali said according to the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act, it was very clear on complaints handling procedure, the call out to KBN TV was illegal.
Mr Pondamali said ZIIMA also views this as an attempt by police to excite their paymaster using the wrong dance antic.
“Riding on President Hakainde Hichilema’s media freedom pronouncements, we hereby call for police to search their souls and withdraw that form of harassment,’’ he said.
He said in a statement that Government must know that there cannot be democracy without a free media, democracy also directs the media to uphold the rule of law, and the IBA Act is not an exception.
“We hereby shed some light on the IBA complaints handling procedure, in case police are ignorant of this: “An aggrieved person shall write to the radio or TV station, highlighting the complaint, and the time on which it was broadcast. Upon receipt, the radio or TV station shall respond to the complaint within 14 days. Where the station has not responded within 14 days, or the complainant is not content with the response, the complainant shall write to the IBA,’’ he said.
Mr Pondamali has therefore urged all journalists and media houses across the country to be balanced, objective, verify information that comes their way and avoid serving the interests of politicians as they gather and publish news.