Information permanent secretary Amos Malupenga, a cadre journalist who worked at The Post as managing editor before the September 2011 election, ordered that the radius transmission of University of Zambia UNZA Radio be reduced from 1000 watts to 260.
The Zambia Information, Communications Authority ZICTA has since acted on Malupenga’s orders which MISA Zambia argue are illegal.
“(MISA) Zambia is concerned with the reduction in the radius transmission of University of Zambia UNZA Radio from 1000 watts to 260 watts by the Zambia Information, Communications Authority ZICTA,” MISA Zambia vice-chairman Nalumino Nalumino said in a statement.
He stated that it was surprising that the PF government which has on several occasions pledged to uphold freedom of expression to allow Zambians freely express themselves on various issues affecting their welfare was now back peddling.
“Recently, there have been unwarranted threats on media institutions by government, the latest one being the reduction of the radius of UNZA Radio as well the highly suspicious dismissal of Evelyn Hone College Journalism Lecturer Clayson Hamasaka,” he stated.
Nalumino stated that the reduction in the radius has put the radio station at a risk of breaching its contractual obligations with its advertisers.
“The adjustment is uncalled for as it is an infringement on freedom of expression which is a core value of MISA Zambia,” he said.
Nalumino has called for the implementation of the Independent Broadcasting Authority IBA so that broadcast media regulation can be independent of political interests.
“MISA Zambia has since written to the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Information seeking an audience with him to discuss these issues that have recently happened,” he explained.
“There is need for the government to realize that the country’s Constitution provides for such freedom because it is a fundamental right which is even recognized by various international instruments that Zambia has ratified.”
Malupenga has turned worse than any other permanent secretary to have served the ministry of information since multi-partism was introduced in 1991.