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Zambia closes three 'unprofessional' media outlets in public interest

Zambia closes three 'unprofessional' media outlets in public interest

Zambia

Zambia’s Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has with immediate effect on Monday ?suspended broadcasting licenses of three privately owned media outlets - Muvi TV, Komboni Radio and Itezhi Tezhi Radio. 

A statement from the IBA said the suspension was as a result of the ‘‘unprofessional conduct in which the three broadcasting stations have conducted themselves in the recent past, which has posed a risk to national peace and stability.’‘

The IBA quoted sections of the broadcasting laws that gave them the powers to revoke licenses of media houses if need be.

It has therefore become necessary for the Authority to suspend the licenses of the three stations in the public interest.

The Authority said it had observed that before, during and after the August 11, 2014 elections, the sanctioned media houses were acting contrary to provisions of the IBA Act, ‘‘it has therefore become necessary for the Authority to suspend the licenses of the three stations in the public interest,’‘ the IBA statement noted.

IBA chairman, Justin Mutale further emphasized in interviews that the stations had been suspended in the “public interest.” The three stations can appeal against the decision within 30 days, IBA noted.

The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) has filed a court action to challenge President Edgar Lungu’s re-election, alleging the poll was rigged. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) declared Lungu winner of the polls with 50.35% and insists that he defeated UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema fairly and squarely.