LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AMONG JOURNALISTS WORRIES HH

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema urged media owners in Zambia to invest in specialized reporting in order to equip journalists within depth understanding of issue.

The President has also revealed that his government is working on changing the education curriculum to ensure that mathematics and English are no longer determinants for judging a learners capabilities end potential.

Meanwhile, President Hichilema says he believes in media self-regulation and hopes that media owners will learn to resolve conflicts outside court.

Speaking when he met members of the Media Owners Association (MOAZ) on Friday last week, President Hichilema took some time expressing his concerns around the lack of knowledge among media practitioners.

The President said sometimes when he watches TV, he sees ignorance being disseminated to an extent that an interviewee doesn’t even know how to respond to some questions.

“Sometimes when I watch TV, I get shocked at what I hear from the journalist. I just say that ignorance there. And when you are being interviewed, you don’t know what to say. I have read stories based on complete ignorance. The journalist doesn’t understand the topic because they don’t have specialized training. You need to look at that. You must balance your panel, have specialized journalists on economic matters, on health issues and so on. If there is need for a fund for that, government will draw a budget to support specialized reporting journalists. That’s why we are changing the curriculum, so that Math’s and English are not used to judge a child’s abilities. We want to incorporate shills, including carpentry, brick leaving, he said. President Hichilema also wondered why the media peddled negative narrative around the Kwacha and Kabushi by election, yet the guidance was coming from the same court which ruled on other case that were unfavorable to the UPND.

“The media must know the thrust of government. Sometimes before you publish, just call these people (advisers) so that you can get the truth. This will help inform your editorial opinions. The coin has two sides. The Kwacha, and Kabushi elections, the media interpreted this in a strange way. You are saying HH is interfering with the rule of law, but it is the same court that ruled… We have a challenge with social media, but you the media houses should regulate yourselves to ensure professionalism. Self-regulation is one way of upholding media freedom,’ he said. The President urged media owners to protect their businesses against litigation. Litigation is a dangerous business. You must learn the culture of conflict resolution outside court. If you are going to have all your disputes resolved through litigation, one day that business will be gone, you will have no business. This is what this government is doing. FQM, there was litigation 2-3 billion dollars, they had claims, and government had claims for 13 to 14 years. We want those matters resolved outside court so that our assets (mines) are not kept idle. That’s how government will generate revenue. You cannot share poverty; I am not ashamed to say this. We need to find ways of generating revenue. So, when we begin a cease fire, that’s not the same as corruption, the President said. “Some of the deals shouldn’t? even have happened, like Mopani deal. But that’s how they were syphoning money from citizens, through bad contracts. The Ministry of Justice was the center of this, that’s where all the bad deals were done.”

The President said the distribution of fertilizer delayed because he had to intervene and prevent a bloated fertilizer tender.

“We had to cancel the fertilizer tender and we have saved US$175 million from that irregularity I had to call ZPPA, ACC and we also had to engage the suppliers. A deal that was US$1,700 per tone was reduced to US$1,100, From 300, 000 tones of fertilizer, do the math and see how much was saved. We cancelled the Lusaka Ndola dual carriageway which was going to cost citizen USS1.24 billion dollars, and US$30 million was paid on that toed with no work done at all,” said the President.

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