Information Deputy Minister Mwansa Kapeya has disclosed that government is in the process of effecting remedies to address challenges faced by public media institutions.
Mr Kapeya made this affirmation when he toured Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) and Radio Mkushi offices in Mkushi district.
Mr Kapeya said that the PF government recognized the important role played by the media in consolidating good Governance through dissemination of information.
He said that to this effect, government had put in place plans that would boost the operations of media institutions such as ZANIS, adding that the objective for this plan was to ensure media presence in every district.
He said that government intended to boost operations of ZANIS by addressing challenges such as understaffing as well as inadequate equipment.
Mr Kapeya pointed out that President Michael Sata had a passion for news operations, saying that the Head of State was eager to improve operations of ZANIS so as to accord residents in every part of the country some information service delivery.
He said that in this regard, the PF government was committed to its principle of availing information access for all, explaining that this vision was in line with enabling people to make informed decisions.
He also urged ZANIS media practitioners to be pro-active in highlighting the Tourism and economic potential of their districts, adding that such a move would have positive bearing on national development.
During his tour of Mkushi Community Radio Station, Mr Kapeya bemoaned the failure of the Radio Station’s Board members to conduct Annual General Meetings (AGMs).
He expressed concern with findings which revealed that the existing Board Members had held on to their positions for nearly a decade.
He said that there was need for Mkushi Radio to adhere to the prevailing stipulations that pertained to matters of Licensing Community Radio stations, saying that the need to hold AGMs was compulsory.
Mr Kapeya said that government acknowledged that Community Radio stations were cardinal to the efforts such as localizing information dissemination, but maintained that there was need for such institutions to abide by the rules pertaining to conducting of AGMs.
He also emphasised on the need for community Radio Stations to guard against Radio programs that disseminated information that was likely to breach the peace and promote hatred.
He warned that the ministry would apply prompt action against Radio stations that aired material that could disrupt peace, saying that media played a very important role in promoting and maintaining peace.
Meanwhile, Mkushi District Commissioner Christopher Chibuye pointed out that the media was pivotal to government operations.
Mr Chibuye said that in this regard, the district administration welcomed the assurances made by the Minister, saying that he was confident that plans would unfold to strengthen media institutions in the district.