By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has refuted assertions that the Authority was directed by the newly-elected United Party for National Development (UPND) to issue a broadcasting licence to Prime Television.
IBA Director General Josephine Mapoma has also informed the public that the Board acted independently when it granted Prime TV a broadcasting licence and at no point did the Authority receive any instructions to open the Station.
“The public may also wish to know that Prime TV’s previous licence became void following its cancellation by the Board of the Independent Broadcasting Authority on 9th April, 2020 pursuant to Section 29 (1) (j) (k) of the IBA (Amendment) Act No. 26 of 2010. The decision of the Board was upheld by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services in accordance with section 31 of the IBA (Amendment) Act No. 26 of 2010.), however, Prime TV applied for a new licence following the advertisement in the press inviting applications for radio and television licences,” she said
Ms Mapoma said that members of the public should know that the licensing process was recently concluded and Prime Television was among the five new stations that met the requirements and were all subsequently awarded Content Service Provider licences.
“Therefore, there is nothing irregular about the Authority awarding Prime Television a licence in August, 2021, in this regard, the Authority would like to assure the nation that the IBA has a rigorous process of awarding and suspending or cancelling broadcasting licences and this is done autonomously,” she said
Ms Mapoma added that IBA remains hopeful that Prime TV will conduct itself professionally and avoid any pitfalls that may put its licence in jeopardy.