PF : We Have Not Banned Public Media From Covering Us

The Patriotic Front says it does not have a policy of banning the public media from covering its activities. PF Secretary General, Wynter Kabimba, told the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia on Wednesday, 20th July 2011, that the PF Central Committee has never sat to pass a resolution banning the public media from covering it.
Mr. Kabimba told MISA Zambia Chairperson Daniel Sikazwe and National Director Sipo Kapumba, who requested for a meeting with the PF Secretary General to clarify the recent banning of the public media from covering the PF General Congress in Kabwe.
Mr. Kabimba told MISA Zambia that his party was frustrated that the public media tended to cover his party in negative manner which tended to harm its public image.
He complained that despite repeated efforts to reach out to the public media to create dialogue and mutual understanding, his efforts had yielded nothing.
Mr. Kabimba said his party expected the public media to exhibit the highest professional standards and adhere to professional ethics because they were owned by the Zambian public and, therefore, should show fairness in their coverage of different stakeholders, including opposition political parties, and to report fairly about them.
He assured MISA Zambia that the PF does not hate the public media, referring to the PF manifesto, which had elaborated his party’s stand on the media and its support for a free press.
He said his party was ready to open dialogue with the heads of the public media, if government will permit them, so that the public media and the PF can appreciate each other and their role in strengthening Zambia’s democracy.
In response, Mr. Sikazwe told Mr. Kabimba that MISA Zambia had gained a lot of insights from the meeting about the challenges the PF was facing in being fairly covered by the public media.
He assured Mr. Kabimba that MISA Zambia would engage all the stakeholders, including government and the public media, to see how the situation could be improved.
He further told Mr. Kabimba that MISA Zambia believed in dialogue with stakeholders, as evidenced by the recent meeting between MISA Zambia and Vice-President George Kunda, where a number of issues, including media operations were discussed.