MMD government abusing the state-owned media
Contributing to debate on the report by the Parliamentary Committee on information and broadcasting, Shakafuswa said what was obtaining in terms of media coverage by the state-owned and government controlled media left much to be desired.
“Are you sure Jonas Shakafuswa is less Zambian than his honour the Vice-President? Are you telling me Jonas Shakafuswa is less Zambian than honourable Muteteka, who they give more air time?” Shakafuswa asked the House.
Shakafuswa, who is Katuba parliamentarian, said the MMD government was championing dictatorship in the manner it was using the state-owned media.
“For people to use the state media where only one view was propagated, it shows they have no confidence in themselves. They are scared of competition, they know they have limited abilities,” he said.
“When you are in power it does not mean you own everything including the state media. When ZNBC calls me it’s in the negative; ‘we hear you have stolen CDF money…’.”
He said it was clear that the majority of the people wanted to hear alternative views considering the numbers of people that attended rallies addressed by opposition leaders than only those from the government.
Shakafuswa, who spoke at length with massive support from the opposition side, said the government should not forget that it used people’s money to run the state media institutions.
“Public media does not belong to the MMD, it belongs to the state and the people of Zambia. Those who thought they own that have limited imagination,” he said.
Shakafuswa said the operations of the public media had been taken back to the UNIP days where only one party democracy was propagated.
He said the state media was better managed even in the UNIP days than it currently was, although it was abused by some few leaders then.
He said the current MMD government had diluted the principles and ideals of multi-party democracy that the people had fought for.
Shakafuswa said if the government in power did not want to be opposed then there was something wrong with it.
He said he liked how the PF ‘rebel’ MPs criticised their party./Post