The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has strongly condemned cadres of the Patriotic Front for causing damage to property at Power FM Radio in Kabwe during the ‘Power to the people’ programme that featured NDC consultant Chishimba Kambwili on Tuesday.
The Authority has also condemned the reported attacks and harassment of journalists at Radio Maria of Chipata on Wednesday after a political programme.
IBA director general Josephine Mapoma stated that broadcasting stations had a crucial role to play in providing information to the public, and any disturbance to a radio station is an infringement on media freedom and the public’s right to information.
“The Authority is particularly dismayed that the people’s right to information is disrupted when the media is threatened. We are further saddened that these threats have occurred in the week when we are supposed to celebrate journalists on World Press Freedom Day, which falls on 3rd May, each year,” she stated.
Mapoma has urged all political party sympathizers to follow the laid down procedures of registering their grievances about any broadcast material they find aggrieving as opposed to engaging in violence.
“Complaints or any misgivings about media coverage must be made to the concerned station within three months of the broadcast. Should the station fail to make good or correct the complaint raised within fourteen days, then the complaint can be addressed to the IBA,” stated Mapoma who further advised that “when an unfortunate incidence of violence occurs against a person and or a broadcast station, the incident must be reported to the Police, as the police are duly mandated to maintain law and order.”