By Brighton Phiri
The Media Liaison Committee (MLC) has assured the media fraternity in Zambia that the process of self regulation for the media is on course.
MLC statement follows Information and Broadcasting minister Dora Siliya’s ministerial statement in the House last Friday that government will formulate a media regulatory policy because the media practitioners have failed to come up with one.
Siliya accused media practitioners of failing to fulfill their pledge after they promised to come up with a statutory self-regulatory framework eight months ago.
But MLC chairperson Enock Ngoma said the date for the second Insaka where a draft Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) bill of 2019 shall be presented and ratified has since been set.
“The Insaka will be held on November 29, 2019 at the golden peacock hotel in Lusaka where the media fraternity from all over the country shall converge and come up with the final draft ZAMEC bill. The second Insaka is a follow up to the first one held on may 9th and 10th 2019 at the same golden peacock hotel where the technical working group was mandated by the media fraternity and other stakeholders to come up with a draft bill on media statutory self regulation in Zambia,” said Ngoma. “The MLC takes note of the statement issued in parliament by information minister Dora Siliya on Friday, November 1, 2019 saying that government is also coming up with another regulatory frame work.
On our part, we assure the media fraternity that the technical working group has been working flat out on this issue including holding of consultations with the ministry of information as well as local experts and international ones.”
According to Ngoma, a number of lawyers had been involved in the drafting of the bill while other lawyers had been engaged to improve the draft adding that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services has been ably represented on the technical working group.
He said Information and Broadcasting Permanent secretary had on a regular basis been briefed by the committee on all the stages that the process was passing through.
“As media bodies we remain resolved to promote freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Zambia and that we shall continue working with the media fraternity and stakeholders to ensure that the statutory self regulation process is completed,” he said.