Copperbelt Province Minister Bowman Lusambo has paid tribute to the media for its role in disseminating information about the on-going government developmental programmes.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Lusambo said the media was an important ally for government as it helps inform the masses about critical information regarding government programmes.
He said he was looking forward to strengthening the partnership between government and the media as he starts his tenure of office as Copperbelt Province Minister.
Mr. Lusambo was speaking in Ndola on Saturday evening when he hosted a media dinner for Copperbelt based journalists at the newly opened Impala Urban Golf Hotel.
He stated that he enjoyed warm and cordial relations with the media during the campaign season adding that he would like to see that unity continue.
“I worked well with most of you during campaigns. This event we are hosting for you here is simply to say thank you. We became friends during our campaigns and I would like that to continue. In fact Bowman Lusambo is a product of the media. What I am today, I partly owe it to you guys,” he said.
He has meanwhile cautioned the media in Zambia to maintain their professional ethics in executing their work.
“As we seek to strengthen this partnership, I would like to urge all of you to keep ethics and professional conduct at the heart of your work. Please do not fabricate stories just to divide the people. I am a firm believer in unity at all levels,” he said.
And Mr. Lusambo has announced the setting up of a media scholarship fund to help journalists in the Copperbelt Province advance their professional qualifications.
He said it was important for journalists to continue upgrading their academic qualifications as a way of improving their work.
“Most of you are very young and you are in the early years of your careers. I would like to support you further your education because I believe education is the best equaliser in life. That is the best gift I could offer you colleagues as we work together. There are no strings attached to this support,” Mr. Lusambo said as journalists applauded.
He explained that the first batch of recipients will be awarded scholarships in January 2017 after application modalities are developed and finalised.
Over 20 journalists drawn from several media houses based in the Copperbelt Province attended the dinner.
And speaking on behalf of journalists, Fletcher Mushibwa from Radio Icengelo thanked Mr. Lusambo for the gesture saying this was the first time he was seeing a minister hosting a dinner party to thank the media.
“This gesture has really touched all of us. I think since independence, I have never heard of any minister doing what you have done for us. Empowering us with education is the best way of supporting our development as journalists,” Mr Mushiness said.