IT is disappointing that the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has completely failed to regulate some known media houses being used as platforms to insult the Head of State on a daily basis, Patriotic Front (PF) Member of the Central Committee (MCC) Kebby Mbewe has charged.
Meanwhile, IBA Director General Josephine Mapoma said it was unfortunate that the authority had been unfairly accused of having failed to regulate some irresponsible media houses when it was executing its duties professionally.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Mr Mbewe, who accused the IBA of having failed to regulate media houses perpetuating hatred among Zambians, demanded that the authority be dissolved.
He said it was disappointing that IBA had for a long time allowed certain media houses to use their platforms to insult the Republican President.
“We are disappointed with IBA for failing to regulate some known ‘irresponsible’ media houses. IBA has allowed known media houses to use their platforms to insult the President and to perpetuate hatred among the Zambian people. “Whoever wants to insult the President, he or she is given a platform, for example this known TV station is always accommodating those who are willing to insult the President without remorse. And the IBA is just watching. We demand that the IBA Board be dissolved because they have completely failed to regulate irresponsible media houses,” Mr Mbewe said.
He added: “There is this TV station which is used as a platform to insult President Lungu and government on a daily basis, as well as perpetuating hatred among the Zambian people and yet nothing is done against them. I think the whole board should be dissolved because we cannot allow a situation where the Head of State is insulted in the name of media freedom.” Mr Mbewe said it was the responsibility of the IBA to regulate media houses that were being used for hate speech, adding that the media houses should also desist from using their platforms to make wild and unsubstantiated claims against government.
“We also advise media house owners, show hosts, panelists and other radio communicators to conduct all discussions with decorum, tolerance and respect for the constitutional rights of others. This will ensure peace. As a ruling party, we will not allow irresponsible reporting which could put the country on fire,” Mr Mbewe said.
But speaking in a separate interview, Ms Mapoma refuted the allegations that the IBA had failed to do its work.
Ms Mapoma, who was reluctant to comment further on the matter, said the IBA was run by professionals who were doing their work professionally.