Zambia: Government threatens to revoke radio licenses

The government of Zambia will not tolerate radio stations that are irresponsible in their reporting, especially those that promote anarchy or advance hate speech, Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary, Amos Malupenga, has said.

Media reports quote Malupenga as saying the Patriotic Front-led (PF) government will not hesitate to revoke broadcast licenses of any media house deemed non-compliant with the provisions of their particular license.

“We have noticed that there is so much irresponsible reporting among some radio stations. A few days ago in [the] Eastern Province, a radio station was encouraging people to wage war if a certain Member of Parliament doesn’t contest a seat. Let us use these media channels appropriately,” Malupenga said.

In the same breath, Malupenga insisted that the government of Zambia would continue to promote freedom of expression by the issuing more broadcasting licenses.

The Zambian government is currently in the spotlight, having blocked access to two popular websites providing news content, Zambian Watchdog and Zambia Reports. Prior to the blocking of the websites, the government had expressed concern over what it described as ethical lapses in their reporting. There currently is no indication that access to the websites will be restored soon.

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