Zambian regulator suspends broadcasters for risking peace during election

PUBLISHED: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 09:07:22 GMT
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Zambia’s broadcasting regulator on Monday suspended the licences of three private broadcasters, saying they had posed a risk to peace and stability during this month’s presidential election.

President Edgar Lungu narrowly won the Aug. 11 poll and his opponent Hakainde Hichilema has filed court papers to challenge the result, claiming the vote was rigged.

Muvi TV, the nation’s largest private television station, Komboni Radio and Radio Itezhi Tezhi had before, during and after the election conducted themselves in an “unprofessional manner”, the Independent Broadcasting Authority said in a statement.

The broadcasters’ actions “posed a risk to national peace and stability,” the regulator said without giving further details.

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“Now only ZNBC will be allowed to broadcast, only Times of Zambia, only Zambia Daily Mail,” opposition leader Hichilema said at a media briefing, referring to state-owned media.

“And all of these are departments of the ruling PF (Patriotic Front party), pushing PF propaganda.”

The suspended stations have 30 days to appeal the ruling, the regulator said.