Public media will be floated on the stock market – Kapeya

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GOVERNMENT has clarified that public media will be floated on the stock market but this will be done only after recapitalisation.
Information and Broadcasting Services deputy minister Mwansa Kapeya was quoted in the media yesterday as having said Government has no immediate plans to privatise public media institutions but will instead recapitalise them to make them more effective.
But Mr Kapeya yesterday said recapitalising the media should not be construed to mean Government will not float shares on the capital market.
“The discussions to recapitalise public media are on-going but that does not mean Government can’t float shares. Shares will be floated but first let’s make the media attractive before taking them to the market,” he said.
He emphasised that offloading shares “will come into the picture once the companies are financially acceptable on the stock market.”
In 2011, Vice-President Guy Scott said the Patriotic Front government would offload 35 percent shares in the public media, and Mr Kapeya yesterday said the position has not changed.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge in Ndola on Monday, Mr Kapeya said public media organisations are now struggling to save themselves from collapse because they were abused in the past.
“They were not left to perform as professionals, hence the public lost interest in these institutions,’’ Mr Kapeya said.
He said the Patriotic Front (PF) government is determined to ensure that media practitioners are left to discharge their duties professionally.
Mr Kapeya said organisations like Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and Zambia News and Information Services need new equipment in readiness for digital migration by 2015.
Mr Musenge expressed happiness that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services appreciates the challenges public media organisations are facing.