Information and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister Poniso Njeulu says his Ministry will this year employ more than 500 staff for the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) to beef up staffing levels in the news agency.
Mr Njeulu said the Ministry is only waiting for the treasury authority to commence the employment exercise.
He said once the treasury authority is given, the Ministry will advertise in the print media the various positions that need to be filled up.
Mr Njeulu disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call on Western Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta at his office in Mongu today.
The Information Deputy Minister is in Western province to familiarize himself with the operations of ZANIS and other media institutions in the province.
Mr Njeulu said the Patriotic Front (PF) government is committed to make access to information by the general public easy so that people can participate in the governance of the country.
He said government has embarked on the construction of provincial television studios countrywide to make access to information for the rural populous easily accessible.
Mr Njeulu further stated that the PF government has also reintroduced local language newspapers and the publications will soon hit the streets.
And the Information Deputy Minister said there was need to find a way of introducing community radio stations in all districts of Western province to increase access to information by the rural people.
He said it was regrettable that Western province only boasts of two community radio stations when most of the districts in Southern province have community radio stations.
Mr Njeulu said the Ministry will liaise with Members of Parliament in the province to use part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) towards the establishment of community radio stations in districts.
He said the establishment of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) will speed up the process of the issuance of radio and television licences to people who want to set up radio or television stations.
Mr Njeulu noted that there is currently a lot of beaurocracy in the issuance of radio and television licenses.
The Deputy Minister also urged media institutions in the country to take advantage of the upcoming Kuomboka ceremony and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to highlight the country’s tourism potential.
And Western Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta said there was need to empower ZANIS with the right equipment and staff to enhance the flow of information in the province.
Mr Mwaliteta said there was a lot of development activities that were currently taking place in Western Province that are not highlighted in the media such as the construction of the K1.7 trillion Mongu-Kalabo road and the clearing of the land where the ultra modern Mongu stadium will be built.
He said these issues need to be highlighted so that people know the developmental projects government is undertaking in order for people to appreciate strides government is making to uplift people’s livelihood.