INFORMATION minister Dora Siliya says there is nothing special about Prime TV and she does not know why its broadcasting license has been suspended by the Independent Broadcasting Authority.
During her weekly press briefing at her office in Lusaka yesterday, the minister said she was incompetent to comment on IBA’s suspension of Prime TV because she was out in Livingstone at the time the suspension was announced.
On Monday, IBA board secretary Josephine Mapoma announced the suspension of Prime TV’s broadcasting license citing unprofessional elements in its broadcasting through unbalanced coverage, opinionated news, material likely to incite violence and use of derogatory language.
The move has been condemned by media bodies and stakeholders who see it as heavy handedness of the part of government.
But when asked to comment on the matter, Siliya said although she did not know the reasons of the suspension of the license, she believed the IBA had good grounds for it because it was mandated to regulate media houses.
“I am not aware yet or taken sight of the reasons that have been put forward by IBA to suspend the Prime TV license,” she said adding, “I hope those who are commenting have seen the reasons, I would like to believe that they are making informed comments and not ignorant ones.”
Siliya insisted that her comment on the matter would be ignorant because she was not aware of the reasons.
“I have not been around. I was out in Livingstone and I have been busy with Cabinet and a cluster meeting,” she said.
Siliya said there was nothing special about Prime TV because the country had about 115 radio stations and 45 television stations.
She said Prime TV was not the only affected media pointing out media houses that had their licenses revoked.
“First of all I don’t think there’s anything special about Prime TV….” she said.
Siliya said none of the media houses whose licenses were suspended or revoked had appealed to her office.
Speaking at the same briefing, information permanent secretary and IBA board chairman Chanda Kasolo insisted that the suspension of Prime TV license had no “external” interference