JULY 18, 2005
Posted: August 9, 2005

Community and religious broadcasters


An Information Ministry official threatened to shutter community and religious radio and television stations broadcasting “political” news or programs, according to local sources.

According to Zambia’s leading daily The Post, permanent secretary Emmanuel Nyirenda circulated a letter to broadcasters, alleging that some stations had “delved into any kind of programming, in some cases even contrary to their assignment as per license … For instance, some religious and community radio stations have diverted from evangelical and social issues and are engaging in political programs.” Nyirenda warned that failure “to operate within the conditions of your licenses” would result in suspension or revocation of broadcasting licenses, The Post reported.

According to local sources, the regulations governing private broadcasters do not give clear guidelines as to allowed content. The local chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) protested Nyirenda’s comments in a published statement, noting that, “programming today is determined by the ever-changing needs of the audiences served by the radio stations.”