The United Party for National Development – UPND, has sued ZNBC for failing to cover presidential campaign rallies of Party Presidential candidate Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
The party has also obtained a court order compelling ZNBC to start attending and cover Mr Hichilema’s presidential campaign rallies ahead of next Month’s Presidential by-elections.
The UPND has further obtained an injunction restraining ZNBC, its agents, journalists, Photographers from blacking out Mr Hichilema on Radio and Television news broadcast.
The injunction compels ZNBC not to bar, prohibit or deny Mr Hichilema equitable and fair access to media coverage until further determination of the matter.
The party has further sought costs from ZNBC, and other relief the court may deem fit.
This is according to a petition obtained from the Lusaka High Court, in which UPND Secretary General WINSTONE CHIBWE and DIPAK PATEL, the Campaign Manager for Mr Hakainde Hichilema, have sued ZNBC.
The petitioners have submitted that despite being notified and invited to cover Mr Hichilema’s presidential campaign rallies, ZNBC has failed or neglected to provide media coverage.
The petitioners have further submitted that even when present at Mr Hichilema’s Presidential Campaign rallies, ZNBC has not covered and broadcast his campaigns.
The petitioner have further stated that UPND has organized political rallies in all provinces of Zambia, but ZNBC has not covered and broadcast Mr Hichilema’s messages.
They have now accused ZNBC of giving the ruling Patriotic Front-PF undue media coverage by broadcasting live the Party’s general conferences in Kabwe and others.
The duo have also submitted that ZNBC’s failure to cover UPND’s campaign constitute a breach of Article one,two three,four and six of the convention on the coverage of elections in the SADC region.
They have argued that ZNBC being a public broadcaster is by law mandated to give all political parties equal media coverage during to all political parties during elections.