Mwamba wants love not war

Emmanuel Mwamba
Emmanuel Mwamba

MINISTRY of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba has advised Zambia Daily Mail employees in particular and public owned media workers in general to promote unity, tolerance and love at the work place in order to build the nation.
Mr Mwamba said rivalry and tensions in the newsroom and other departments are not healthy for the production of news, hence the need to avoid them if the ‘product’ is to grow.
“If you had any knives out,” Mr Mwamba said, “this is the time to put them away and work as a team because if you can’t work as a team in a newsroom, how can you work towards building a united nation?”
The permanent secretary said this when he addressed Zambia Daily Mail staff during his familiarisation tour in Lusaka yesterday following his appointment to the ministry by President Sata, a fortnight ago.
“You spend almost three quarters of your time at work and how would you like to work in a place where there is tension?” Mr Mwamba asked. “My appeal to you is work together, remove all these divisions and differences and put them aside,” he said, as he also used the opportunity to officially introduce Mr Anthony Mukwita as the in-coming managing director of the Zambia Daily Mail to take over from Mr Isaac Chipampe, who has been elevated into a Ministry job.
Mr Mwamba added: “Mr Anthony Mukwita (in-coming managing director) and your management, I urge you to promote unity among your staff. These are your staff”.
He said employees should embrace professionalism and ‘depoliticise’ the operation of the media and also just remember that they work for a newspaper that is 100 percent owned by Government and therefore, avoid political biasness that could harm Government aspirations.
Mr Mwamba advised employees to become “good friends” for the benefit of the company and the newspaper, whose future he said looked bright given the ever rising circulation numbers.
He said reporters should desist from “personalising” Government ministers and sources because the action robs editors and supervisors of their duties.
Mr Mwamba said it is not right for a reporter to be loyal to individuals because “individuals come and go”.
“I shudder to think that a particular journalist is working with the opposition. Let’s not be loyal to individuals but to our institutions, the country and the President, who Zambians have given the mandate to govern the country,” Mr Mwamba said.
Mr Mwamba further said he will not entertain journalists who will attempt to use his office to fight their “personal battles”.
He said his office should be used to build the working relationship among journalists.
“Do not use my office to settle your personal scores. I am in that office to build everyone,” Mr Mwamba said.
He also said he will not tolerate and encourage indiscipline and malpractice among public media journalists.
“Be like me, when I was sent to Northern Province, I was given a long list of people to fire but I did not do so because I believe in working together but this does not mean that indiscipline and malpractice should be encouraged,” Mr Mwamba said.
He also said Government is putting in place measures to help the operations at Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and Zambia News and Information Services.
Mr Mwamba bemoaned the poor infrastructure at the Zambia Daily Mail.
He said Government has already started the process of recapitalising the public media but the recapitalisation will not come in form of money.
And Mr Mwamba said the Daily Mail’s entertainment and lifestyle pages should be promoted because they have potential to lure youths to the paper.
He challenged the Zambia Daily Mail to promote online publication of the newspaper because majority voters are using online media.
And Zambia Daily Mail in-coming managing director Mr Mukwita said the newspaper will soon start publishing online stories as they break instead of waiting for the next day.
Mr Mukwita said it is important to inform the nation on what is happening in the country as soon as the news breaks given the recent rise in online media.
“We can have the basics or just an introduction today and publish the full story the next day,” Mr Mukwita said. “There is no need to wait for tomorrow to deliver the goods.”
Mr Mwamba, who thanked Mr Chipampe for his service at the Zambia Daily Mail, also challenged the newspaper to increase its readership on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.