The Government of Zambia has issued out 10 full licenses and 16 construction permits to television and radio stations across the country in a move expected to promote citizenry participation in matters of national interest.
Zambia’s minister of information and broadcasting services Kennedy Sakeni said the move is aimed at improving participation in the country’s current affairs as well as offer the citizens an opportunity to air their opinions on affairs of the country’s interest.
The minister said that the number of radio and television licenses that were issued is much higher compared to a record set by the previous government – of only two full radio licenses and 8 construction permits between 2010 and end of 2011.
Issuing the licenses clearly demonstrates the Patriotic Front government’s commitment to ensure transparency and accountability as it advocates for free flow and public access to information, Sakeni said.
According to the minister, the government is committed to dismantling the sad state of affairs to allow the media to play its role in ensuring national cohesion and development.
“The government’s agenda is to ensure that the media serves national interest and not as one that acts as vuvuzelas of the party in power,” he said.
The new stations will now have to switch to digital broadcasting before the 2013 deadline as set by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).