MOST of the public comments being made over the closure of Muvi Television and two radio stations, Itezhi-Tezhi and Komboni, are purely political and would not help the re-opening of the three broadcasting stations, a media expert has observed.
And Sunday Chanda says it is the duty of the media to uphold ethics and that the closure of the three media institutions by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) should not be seen as Government clampdown.
Kellys Kaunda has since advised Muvi Television to seek dialogue with the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) which he said had taken several weeks of expert observation to come up with the case of professional and ethical misconduct against the broadcasting media houses.
In a statement issued yesterday, Mr Kaunda said that it took several weeks, if not months, of expert observation on the part of the IBA to come up with the charges they had levelled against the three media institutions.
He said that media houses and practitioners are only human capable of making mistakes and needed to be corrected by legally constituted bodies with relevant expertise, hence the need for the IBA.
“We went ahead and pushed for its enactment and operationalization because we knew that as media houses and practitioners we are only human and therefore capable of mistakes and needing correction by legally constituted bodies with relevant expertise in our field.
‘‘It took several weeks, if not months, of expert observation on the part of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to emerge with the charges they have levelled against MUVI Television, Komboni and Itezhi Tezhi radio stations,” he said.
And Mr. Chanda said, the action by the IBA to suspend licenses for Muvi TV, Komboni and Itezhi-Tezhi radio stations was independent and was not influenced by those in power, adding that the decision was unfortunate but inevitable.
He said the PF had demonstrated since it came into power that it did not plan to gag the media as it had allowed it to operate freely despite hostile coverage of President Edgar Lungu by some outlets.
Mr Chanda said the IBA decision was made purely on grounds of national security and could not be blamed on Government.
“The PF administration is not allergic to criticism and this has been demonstrated by its capacity to run affairs of the nation without muzzling the media. The latest development in which IBA has suspended licenses for Muvi TV, Komboni and Itezhi-Tezhi radio stations is unfortunate but inevitable. There is no freedom in this country that takes priority over national
security. Once a country has been plunged into chaos, not even the media will enjoy its rights.
“Even under extreme and highly biased coverage of President Lungu, there has never been a moment when the PF demonstrated against any media house. There is therefore no interference by PF in the suspension of licenses for particular media houses. IBA acted within its mandate and we would encourage the affected media stations to engage IBA as the law clearly provides for an opportunity to appeal,” Mr. Chanda said.