Stop intimidating the Media-ZIIMA

 Stop intimidating the Media-ZIIMA

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) is appalled by the police call out issued to KBN TV, a private TV station.

This is 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.

ZIIMA Consultant Wilson Pondamali says that  IBA Act is very clear on complaints handling procedure, and the police call out is in this case, a clear abuse of state institutions by government.

Mr Pondamali said ZIIMA also views this as an attempt by police to excite their paymaster using a wrong dance antic.

“Riding on President Hakainde Hichilema’s media freedom pronouncements, we do hereby call for police to search their souls and withdraw that form of harassment, Government must know that there cannot be democracy without a free media, democracy also directs us to uphold the rule of law, and the IBA Act is not an exception.”

Mr Pondamali said that the police should know IBA complaints handling procedure says “An aggrieved person shall write to the radio or TV station, highlighting the complaint, and time on which it was broadcast. Upon receipt, the radio or TV station shall respond to the complaint within 14 days.

He said that if the station has not responded within 14 days, or the complainant is not content with the response, the complainant is expected to write to IBA.

Mr Pondamali said that clearly the procedure has not been followed by the summoning party, hence the resolve that this is an act to intimidate the Media, it must be stopped.

“We also call on journalists and media houses across the country to be balanced, objective, verify information that comes their way and avoid serving interests of politicians as they gather and publish news,” he said.