INFORMATION and Broadcasting Services Minister Kennedy Sakeni says Government will continue to lobby for finances to invest in public media institutions in Zambia.
He said the Government was aware of the many challenges the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS), TIMES OF ZAMBIA and ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL encountered.
He was speaking when he and his Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga toured ZNBC and ZANIS Headquarters at Mass Media complex yesterday.
"As a ministry, it's our desire to see our institutions well looked after in their operations. We will continue to lobby the Ministry of Finance to give us funds to assist in operations of these public media institutions," he said.
Mr Sakeni said information was significant for national development and that public institutions such as ZNBC should continue to operate efficiently.
He said Government would not interfere in operations of any of public media institution.
"We shall give you a free hand to operate well and we shall not come to ZNBC or other media institutions to tell you whether to broadcast this or that...it's up to you to make decisions," he said.
The minister expressed confidence that the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) would by January 2013 be implemented.
He said Government was aware of the critical shortages of both staff and equipment in all ZANIS offices and would ensure that assistance was rendered.
Mr Sakeni however, commended ZANIS staff for working hard amid operational challenges.
And Mr Malupenga said the biggest obstacle that had hindered the implementation of the IBA in the past years was the approval of its structure.
He was happy that a place was found at ZANIS.
He said the provision of the IBA structure would make it easier for the release of budgetary finances.
ZNBC Director-General Chibamba Kanyama was happy that two senior Government officials had assured of continued support of the institution.