Originally Published on Vatican Radio By Fr. Paul Samasumo
In a stinging analysis, Zambia’s Diocese of Mongu Bishop, Evans Chinyemba has decried Zambia’s deteriorating media freedoms and said that the country would in two weeks’ time (11 August) conduct general elections under the climate of public service media that only speak for the party in power. He has since urged the Zambian government to stop abusing the public service media sector for its ends.
“Zambia votes aware of how we, Zambians have allowed the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC); the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail newspapers; the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) and the National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS) to destroy public service media ethics and allow them to only speak for the party in power,” Bishop Chinyemba said. He made the remarks in the latest Mongu Diocese bulletin,Drumbeat, addressed to parishioners.
Bishop Chinyemba says in its current form and for lack of a better term, Zambia’s public service media had become ‘enemies of information’ especially during the months of electoral campaigns in the nation.
“The way the public service media has behaved seems to have left the Electoral Commission of Zambia powerless knowing that the hand of government is in both institutions.” The Bishop said. He added that after the 11 August general elections, the country would urgently need to revisit and revise the Electoral Code of Conduct in as far as it relates to public service media.