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Zambia’s electoral process and system needs fixing, observes Jackson Silavwe

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OPPOSITION Golden Party of Zambia (GPZ) President says the on going nullification of parliamentary and local government seats is a strong indication that Zambia’s electoral system and process is flawed and needs urgent attention.

And Mr Silavwe has called on the Government to release a roadmap on Constitutional, Institutional and Governance reforms so that Zambian’s can be afforded an opportunity to fix the broken electoral system and process for all.

Jackson Silavwe laments thai it is unfortunate that not even the legal system in the country can remedy the electoral system and process.

Mr Silavwe said it is fundamentally erroneous and does not represent the uniqueness of the nation nor a now Zambian.

“Zambia’s electoral system and process is characterised by, un-informed voters. Most of our voters are ignorant of the roles of an MP or indeed a councillor. Most voters regard an MP as a ‘father’ or ‘mother’ to meet their needs,” he said.

He noted that an average voter at constituency and ward levels expect to be paid or appeased in order to vote for candidate.

“Continuous politicking. Zambian’s politick from one general election to the other. Everything is politicised in Zambia, real development remains illusive,” he said.

Mr Silavwe bemoaned that politics are riddled with violence, intolerance and insults powered by a scandal loving voter or populace. Politicians and their followers think that for them to ascend, they must destroy their fellows.

“Politics is a source of income and not a vehicle to improve and advance our society. Zambian politics is highly monetised from nominations, campaigns to keeping a seat,” Mr Silavwe stated.

He further noted that a flawed system and process cannot produce good results for the common advancement of any society. The result is a vicious cycle that puts it’s occupants in slow motion reverse gear.

He said this in a statement made available to the media.

Politics

Police plan arrest of KBN TV owner, Kennedy Mambwe, over a leaked audio recording, says Joan Chirwa

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THE Free Press Initiative (FPI) Zambia says it is in receipt of information that police plan to arrest KBN TV owner Kennedy Mambwe over a leaked audio recording published on the private broadcaster’s Facebook page.

On Thursday, January 20,2022, police summoned KBN TV station manager Petty Chanda for questioning over the publishing of an alleged audio recording of phone conversation between State House Aide for Politics Mr Levy Ngoma and Home Affairs PS Mr Josephs Akafumba where they were scheming ways to bar Democratic Party from contesting the Kabwata by-election.

FPI Zambia founder Joan Chirwa says the police’s attempt is to get KBN TV to reveal the source of the recording, is a move that is totally against journalism ethics which demand protection of sources regardless of a situation one faces.

“We would expect police to be concerned more with ensuring abundant press freedom and freedom of expression than wasting taxpayers money on a recording which the government had earlier said was fake.The energy and time being expended on this now authenticates the conversation which they tried to deny,” she said.

Ms Chirwa urged the police to abandon their plans and allow the media to operate unrestrained as promised by President Hakainde Hichilema.

“The promise to ensure promotion of press freedom made by President Hichilema soon after his election last year should be taken as an instruction to all state institutions to not interfere with the operations of the media. Meddling in the operations of the media through police call outs and arrests is counter productive and an affront on press freedom in a democracy. We call on President Hichilema to remind the police and his officials serving in different positions in government to respect the pronouncements he made considering that he himself fully understands the importance of press freedom,” Ms Chirwa said.

She further called on Information and Media minister Ms Chushi Kasanda to choose the side of press freedom that considers the citizens’ right to know more paramount than that of those in power.

She said  public officials are expected to develop thick skin as their actions and deeds will always come under scrutiny by the media and other stakeholders with vested interest.

(Mwebantu, Friday, January 21st, 2022)

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“No, Minister Kasanda! You’ve got it wrong”, Leave the media alone. Laura Miti says

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SOCIAL commentor Laura Miti says instead of condemning the media, Information and Media Minister Chushi Kasanda should tell the nation on whether or not it is true a Presidential advisor gave a named Permanent Secretary orders to interfere in the operations of an opposition political party.

An alleged leaked telephone conversation between two senior government officials has gone viral on social media in which an official is alleged to be ordering a Permanent Secretary to interfere in the operations of a named political party.

The said audio was also aired by a television station,  KBN,  whose news editor was summoned by police.

However, Ms Kasanda said the airing of the said audio is highly unprofessional as it was not verified.

She said the move by KBN Television station to air a private conversation without verifying it authenticity is contrary to media professional ethics and conduct, which demands that a journalist ought to verify any information before publishing it.

But Ms Miti has differed with the Minister stating what Zambians are interested in is knowing whether it is true that a Presidential Advisor called a Permanent Secretary, on the orders of the President, to instruct a public institution to use state power to interfere in the internal politics of an opposition party.

“No, Minister Kasanda! You’ve got it wrong.

What the public is worried about is not that a media house broadcasted an audio that everyone that knows someone, who knows someone, who owns has a basic cellphone, has heard,” Ms Miti said.

She urged the Minister to leave the media but instead concentrate on giving the nation the Acces to Information Legislation.

“A law that would allow media houses to very quickly verify if the HH Administration has already found the poisoned chalice, hidden in State House for each new administration, and is taking gulps from it,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, January 20th, 2022)

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Politics

Government warns KBN and says media freedom is not absolute as it comes with responsibility

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MINISTER of Information and Media, Chushi Kasanda, has warned journalists to guard against falling prey to publishing any information that they collect without verification.

Commenting on KBN Television station which aired a private telephone conversation between two senior government officials, Mrs Kasanda government is concerned with the unprofessional conduct of some media houses in their reporting.

She said the move by KBN Television station to air a private conversation without verifying it authenticity is contrary to media professional ethics and conduct, which demands that a journalist ought to verify any information before publishing it.

“Government is, therefore, concerned that KBN found itself in conflict with the law on a matter that it could have avoided had it followed basic principles of journalism,” she said.

Mrs Kasanda who is also chief government spokesperson said the media profession has adequate guidelines which if observed, can protect journalists from misinforming, misleading and infringing upon other people’s rights.

“It ought to be stressed that, media freedom is not absolute as it comes with responsibility on the part of the media which include verifying information before publishing it, balance, objectivity and accuracy.This is even more crucial now in the wake of social media where people who are not journalists share information, some of which is not true,” she said.

Mrs Kasanda said government is committed to freedom of the media as it is key in the promotion and preservation of democracy.

“This can be demonstrated by Government’s hands-off approach to the media in which it is promoting media self regulation, editorial independence and access to information.With these and other reforms that Government is undertaking, the media is assured of freedom in its role of informing, educating and entertaining the public,” Mrs Kasanda said.

The chief government spokesperson further called on the media to play its part by being responsible and professional in their work.

“I also wish to take this opportunity to advise the media to always seek clarification from designated offices on various national matters.For all Presidential matters, the designated office is that of the Presidential Spokesperson, for all Government issues, the designated office is that of the Chief Government Spokesperson who is also the Minister of Information and Media, and for all party matters the responsible office is that of the Party Spokesperson,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, January 20th, 2022)

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ZAMBIA: COVID-19 STATS

21 Jan 2022, 9:02 AM (GMT)

Zambia Stats

300,587 Total Cases
3,885 Deaths
287,646 Recovered

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