The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has condemned the continued calls on the Independence Broadcasting Authority (IBA) by some leaders in government to regulate broadcast media when the authority was already doing so.
MISA Zambia Vice President Hyde Haguta said that calls on the IBA to act on alleged hate speech would impact the ability of broadcast media on airing critical stories affecting the country.
Mr Haguta said this in a press statement availed to the Lusaka Star cautioning that the media should not be a domain of the powerful few who seek to control media output to their own interest.
“IBA starts with independent and that is to ensure that it operates as independent as possible because broadcast media in Zambia can only be as independent as the IBA if not manipulated by powerful sections of the Zambian society especially government,” Mr. Haguta said.
He was reacting to the remarks made by Luapula Province Minister, Nickson Chilangwa in which he urged the IBA to regulate houses being used for hate speech against the government.
Mr. Haguta further condemned the provincial minister’s remarks as he views them to be intimidation of media houses’ role to provide checks and balance to government in its implementation of programs.
“The media exists to inform, educate and entertain and it also further plays a watchdog role by pointing out pronouncements that may be contrary to constitutional provisions and we are concerned because he is not the first time Mr. Chilangwa is issuing such sentiments.” Mr. Haguta explained.
He noted that leaders should present themselves in a manner that would not send fears or deep concern in society.
Mr Haguta said MISA was concerned with Mr. Chilangwa’s continued dispensation of remarks which he viewed as undemocratic and vowed that MISA would engage the President’s office whom he believed was media friendly to reprimand the minister.