14 August 2012

Zambia: Pledge to Uphold Democracy, Rule of Law

GOVERNMENT will remain committed to the rule of law, democracy and good governance, Chief Government Spokesperson, Kennedy Sakeni has said.

Mr Sakeni said in a media statement in Lusaka yesterday that the Government had issued 10 full licences and 16 construction permits for the establishment of private and community radio and television stations during the 10 months it had been in office.

He said that was part of its commitment to democracy and good governance.

"This is against the MMD government's paltry record of only two full radio licences and only eight construction permits they issued between 2010 and September, 2011," he said.

He said the diversity of media channels in the country had enhanced people's participation in the affairs of the nation as they were free to air their views on matters of national interest.

Opposition National Restoration Party (NAREP) and MMD at the weekend alleged that Zambia was degenerating into a dictatorship and totalitarian State.

But Mr Sakeni said a dictatorial Government could not free the media, as the PF Government had done.

"A dictatorship government cannot liberalise the airwaves as we have done. We now have close to 50 private and community radio stations across the country. In fact, we have re-opened the private radio stations which the MMD Government had closed down for purely political reasons," he said.

Mr Sakeni, who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said the Judiciary was independent and that anyone who felt aggrieved was free to seek redress in the courts of law. He challenged NAREP and MMD to give credit where it was due instead of raising "wild accusations" they could not prove.

"The Government has scored landmark achievements in various sectors during the 10 months it has been in office," he said.

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