IBA Act set for amendment

Cornelius Mweetwa, Zambia’s Information and Media Minister, expressed optimism regarding the proposed amendment of the ZNBC Act, suggesting it would facilitate the transformation of the national broadcaster into a genuine public service entity with a secure financial foundation.

Mweetwa, also serving as the Chief Government Spokesperson, emphasized that this transformation would ensure ZNBC operates professionally, impartially, and facilitates the free flow of information to the Zambian populace.

Addressing the gathering during the presentation of two draft bills for the ZNBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Acts in Lusaka, Mweetwa, represented by Information and Media Permanent Secretary Thabo Kawana, commended the Technical Working Group for their thorough review of the acts, which resulted in progressive recommendations. He welcomed proposals such as replacing the TV Levy with the Broadcast Levy, which he believes will bolster ZNBC’s financial stability. Additionally, Mweetwa supported the suggestion for industry players to nominate board members for ZNBC and IBA.

Kawana highlighted the necessity of amending the ZNBC Act to provide legal backing for state-owned broadcasters like ZANIS TV, Parliament TV, and Education Television Services. He stressed that the revised act would grant these broadcasters legal standing, providing clarity and stability to their operations.

Moffat Bili, Chairperson of the Technical Working Group, outlined further enhancements, including incorporating a Radio Levy into the proposed Broadcast Levy to ensure sufficient revenue generation for ZNBC. Additionally, Bili disclosed plans to regulate online television stations under the IBA Act, extending oversight to platforms currently operating without regulation. The proposed amendments aim to modernize regulatory frameworks and ensure comprehensive oversight of broadcasting entities, including ZNBC.

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