Government has appealed to the British government to assist in equipping the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Chishimba Kambwili, says ZNBC studios need total overhaul while Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail are over-burdened with statutory debt owed to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) which has adversely affected their operations.
Mr Kambwili, who is also Chief government Spokesperson, also says training of media personnel in the three institutions is another area where government would appreciate the British government’s assistance.
He further says government plans to offload some shares in the Times of Zambia after improving the newspaper’s financial standing through recapitalisation and conversion of statutory debt into share capital.
The minister, however, says government remains committed to the enactment of the Access to Information (ATI) Bill and that consultations are ongoing to this effect.
Mr Kambwili said this when British High Commissioner to Zambia, James Thornton, paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Lusaka today.
And British High Commissioner to Zambia, James Thornton, has hailed the Zambian government’s efforts in entrenching media freedom in the country.
Mr Thornton cited the establishment of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the ongoing process to enact the Access to Information (ATI) law as some of the shining examples of government’s commitment to reform and reposition the Zambian media so that it plays its full and rightful role in national development.
Mr Thornton said it is important that government persists in its defence and promotion of media freedom as demonstrated so far as the benefits to the country are huge in the long run.