Thursday, 27 February 2014


MISA Zambia yesterday successfully launched for the first time the African Media Barometer (AMB) Report for Zambia at Protea Hotel in Lusaka. During the launch, MISA
Zambia Acting Chairperson Hellen Mwale bemoaned the slow media law reforms process. She said that the delayed enactment of the constitution and the repeal of the most oppressive and archaic piece of legislation the Penal code was a source of concern. She acknowledged some of the progress in the area of media reforms as including the establishment of the Independent Broadcast Authority (IBA) and government support towards the establishment of a non-statutory media regulation body the Zambian Media Council (ZAMEC).

Ms Mwale also expressed worry at the violence targeted at journalists in the year 2013 and also citizens who had divergent views or sought to express displeasure over certain government policies. She said the attach on citizens who gathered to pray and protest the removal of subsidies in Lusaka at a Church called BIGOCA was one such incident. She also noted that Radio Mano is one of the stations that faced continued harassment during the year which included blocking of guests from appearing on the station on more than three occassions.

And the Deputy Minister of Information Poniso Njeulu said that government was grateful that MISA Zambia and FES had produced the report as government would use it to build on its efforts to address media freedom.

He also added that government had scheduled the next Parliamentary sitting to enact the Access to Information (ATI) Bill. He urged members of the public to take advantage of the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) to establish Community Radio Stations in order to enhance information flow and access to information.

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