Zambia: Zambian broadcasting authority shuts down TV, 2 radio stations

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Zambia's Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has with immediate effect suspended broadcasting licences for privately-owned Muvi TV, community radio stations Komboni Radio in Lusaka and Itezhi Tezhi Radio in Southern province.

IBA chairman Justin Mutale, who announced the suspension in a statement on Monday, said the suspension followed the unprofessional conduct in which the three broadcasting stations conducted themselves in the recent past, posing a risk to national peace and stability.

“The Authority has observed that before, during and after the August 11, 2016 elections, Muvi TV, Komboni Radio and Itezhi Tezhi Radio have been conducting themselves in an unprofessional manner contrary to the provisions of the IBA Act.

“It has therefore become necessary for the Authority to suspend the licences for the three stations in the public interest,” Mutale stated.

The closure of the three stations brings to four the number of media houses closed by government recently.

The leading independent Post newspaper, whichhas been critical of President Edgar Lungu, was shut down in June over outstanding tax arrears, a move which was seen by some donors as intended to silence independent voices ahead of the elections.

President Lungu's re-election has been challenged in the Constitution Court by main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema who alleged vote rigging.

The inauguration of President Lungu, originally scheduled for 23 August, has been postponed until the Court settles the case within two weeks.
-0- PANA MM/AR 22Aug2016

22 august 2016 19:12:06

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