Government has officially unveiled a nine-member Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) board.
Speaking during the unveiling ceremony in Lusaka today, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Joseph Katema said the board comes into office against the backdrop of high expectations from both the government and the public on the need for the media to exercise high ethical and professional standards.
Dr. Katema said through the appointment of the board ,government was reassuring the nation that in line with its “hands off” policy on the media, it has given the IBA and indeed the media fraternity at large, a leeway to operate independently and professionally in order to benefit the citizens.
Dr. Katema, who is also Chief Government Spokesperson, said the first ever board of the IBA has a mammoth task of laying a firm foundation upon which the independent broadcasting authority should grow.
He said some people doubted when government announced that it would make the media operate freely.
The minister said government has now been vindicated because of liberalising airwaves.
Currently, there are over 70 community and commercial radio stations and not less than 12 television station in Zambia.
Dr. Katema expressed confidence that the board has the competence, expertise and experience to grow the IBA from its current infancy stage to a formidable organization that will oversee the growth of a professional and vibrant broadcasting industry in the country.
The members of the board are former commandant for intellectual security Brigadier General Justin Mutale (rtd), an accountant Mr. Hillary Banda, Managing Director Izone ICT solutions Ms. Hildah Akekelwa and a retired broadcaster Mr. Alphonso Kashulwe,.
Others are Ms. Patricia Mwase, who is Director and Chief Executive Officer at Opti-Quest Media Corporation Limited, Mr. Evans Muhanga, who is Chief Marketing Officer at ZAMTEL Company Limited, former Central Province Education Officer Ms. Enita Hamatumbika, Ms Brenda Tambatamba Liswaniso, who is Sustainability Manager at Barrick Lumwana Mine and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, Bert Mushala.
The IBA is a corporate body established by the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act No.17 of 2002 to regulate the broadcasting industry in Zambia.