The Lusaka High Court has granted leave to apply for a judicial review in a matter in which the UPND sued ZNBC for allegedly refusing to air its political campaign documentary which featured party presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema’s interview.
An application for an order to grant leave to apply for judicial review was granted by High Court Judge Justice Mwiinde Siavwapa who stated that upon hearing counsel for the applicant he granted UPND Secretary General Stephen Katuka leave to apply for a judicial review.
Justice Siavwapa further ordered that the said leave should act as a stay of the decision of the Director of ZNBC to refuse to air their political campaign documentary.
THE UPND has sued Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation for rejecting its political campaign documentary which featured party presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema’s interview.
In the application, party Secretary General Stephen Katuka has asked the court to order ZNBC director general Richard Mwanza to accept the party’s payment and air the documentary.
The opposition party is also seeking a declaration that ZNBC’s decision to reject the documentary was ultra vires the ZNBC Act and the Electoral Process Act.
The UPND stated further that ZNBC’s rejection of the said documentary during the election campaign period was against the Constitution.
The applicant stated that between July 1 and July 4, it submitted a documentary with the intention of having it aired on or about July 24. “ZNBC made several suggestions regarding changes that needed to be effected to the documentary, which included the removal of the background song popularly known as ‘Bello’.
The applicant duly complied with all the demands of the respondents by effecting all the suggested changes at a great cost and used prodigious amounts of hours on editing,” the party stated. The UPND added that despite assurances and official communication that the documentary had been approved for airing, the party was later informed that the documentary would not be aired and that no reasons were given.