Mwila flushed out a television crew from Prime TV for allegedly blacking out the Patriotic Front from their station.
Following the public spat, Prime TV owner Gerald Shawa wrote to Mwila protesting his decision.
Information Minister Dora Siliya has since announced that Mwila will be meeting Prime TV management to clarify several issues.
Siliya also wondered why some politicians had lurched on the incident to vilify government as being anti-media.
Below is the protest letter Prime TV wrote to the PF Secretary General:
RE: BARRING OF PRIME TV FROM COVERING PF FUNCTIONS AND CHASING OF PRIME TV JOURNALIST.
The above captioned subject refers.
It is with a heavy heart that we write your office on a matter in which you publicly chased Prime TV journalists from your Press Conference on Saturday 26th January 2019 and later on, decisively, barred Prime Television from covering all your party functions.
As a broadcast institution registered to operate independently under the laws of Zambia, we find the idea to chase our journalists and the decisive submission to bar Prime Television from covering all PF functions unfortunate.
Given your Party Position as Secretary General,and Knowing that you come from the ruling party which should lead by example by following the law ,it is sad that you opted to ignore the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) complaints procedure, which requires that you tender a formal complaint to a broadcast institution ,which complaint is supposed to be addressed within 14days ,upon which you are free to bring it to the attention of the IBA after 14 days ,where you feel that that Broadcast institution has failed to adequately address your complaint.
The above procedure is a requirement for all those who feel aggrieved on a matter of broadcasting.
Unfortunately, you have opted to use a more unprocedural way which to us is unfortunate , undemocratic and totalitarian in that it may subject our journalists to unwarranted political attacks especially attacks from the Patriotic Front cadres.
It is our considered view that the approach you took is not only undemocratic, but is a serious indictment on the freedom of the media.
While you have the right not to be covered if you so wish, it is Prime TV’s policy to provide a platform for all political parties without bias.
We also wish to bring to your attention that Prime TV is a commercial Television station where all those wishing to have sponsored programs are free to come and have their programs paid for as many times as they can just like your party has previously on the same platform.
As you may have observed, many political parties have been sponsoring their press conferences to air and this is done in a business sense.
We wish to urge you to follow the law as you make further complaints of a coverage nature and those complaints should be in compliance with sections (33-38) of IBA Act 2002.
As a media house , we still hold you in high esteem and pray that this misunderstanding you have raised is resolved promptly in a formal and civil manner.
Prime TV Director
Cc: Minister -Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Cc: Director General, Independent Broadcasting Authority
Cc: MISA Zambia