Wednesday, June 02, 2010
By Agness Changala
Wed 02 June 2010, 04:01 CAT
MEDIA Liaison Committee (MLC) spokesperson Amos Chanda has charged that information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha is exaggerating the feelings of the government on statutory regulation of the media.
Reacting to Lt Gen Shikapwasha’s claims that Zambians want statutory regulation of the media, Chanda said most Zambians were pushing for self regulation.
“This is the feeling for the majority Zambians, they have rejected statutory regulation and are for self regulation,” he said. “I think that the minister is exaggerating the feelings of the government.”
Chanda said many Zambians including the parliamentary committee on information and broadcasting, the civil society organizations and many others had rejected it.
Chanda said it was regrettable that Lt Gen Shikapwasha could say this at a time when dialogue was going on over self regulation of the media.
Chanda explained that last week, the MLC wrote a letter to Lt Gen Shikapwasha, highlighting the changes that were made to his requirement.
He said the committee was this week expected to hold a meeting with him where the document with changes would be looked at.
Chanda said the meeting was also expected to look at the grounds on which Lt Gen Shikapwasha rejected the Zambia Media Ethics Council (ZAMEC) process.
“We will give the government time to reflect on the position from the meeting we had at Pamodzi and we also want to understand where the problem is,” he said.
Chanda said visiting American Professor Al Cross’ views who on statutory regulation of the media could not be rejected because they were universally accepted.
He said self regulation of the media was a global standard and all about getting other people’s views for best practices.
Chanda said Lt Gen Shikapwasha should not reject other people’s views because that was equal to closing himself from learning.
Chanda said the MLC believed in learning and not shutting other people’s views.
The committee is yet to announce the date of the ZAMEC launch.
Lt Gen Shikapwasha on Monday claimed that Zambians wanted statutory regulation of the media.
Lt Gen Shikapwasha said the government would respect people’s views on the matter but maintain their position on statutory regulation.