TEDDY KUYELA, Parliament
GOVERNMENT will next year spend K44 million on the implementation of phase two and three of the digital migration programme.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Chishimba Kambwili said Government has already implemented phase one of digital migration and it is working on ensuring that the remaining two phases are concluded before the complete switch-over from analogue to digital television broadcasting.
Mr Kambwili said this in a policy statement delivered in Parliament last evening to support the approval of the 2016 national budget allocated for his ministry.
â€œMy ministry has quickened the embracement of new technology for the advancement of the media industry in the country.
â€œIt is for this reason that my ministry has made substantial progress in the implementation of phase two and three of the digital migration. Let me inform the House that the ministry has successfully implemented phase one of the digital migration which is now running along the line of rail from Chililabombwe to Livingstone,â€ Mr Kambwili said.
The minister also said Government expects to spend about K5.5 million in next yearâ€™s budget on the establishment of provincial television stations.
He said Government is happy that the exercise of establishing provincial television stations is progressing well starting with Solwezi and Choma, which are currently under construction.
Mr Kambwili also said Government will spend about K10 million towards the recapitalization of the public media in the country.
He assured the House that Government will continue working hard to help improve the media landscape in the country.
Mr Kambwili also assured Parliament that Government will not interfere in the operations of public media because this is key to enhancing the flow of information in the country.
In winding up debate, Mr Kambwili said there is little substance in assertions that Government is interfering in the operations of the media.
He said, however, that Government has a responsibility to ensure that the media is well guided to prevent turmoil in the country.
Mr Kambwili said that without such guidance, there is a risk that the country could degenerate into chaos as happened in Rwanda when the media triggered and flamed genocide.
Mr Kambwili also said those that say lies should not expect to be covered in the media.
â€œIf you talk about issues that donâ€™t make sense and they donâ€™t cover you, donâ€™t blame them,â€ he said.
TEDDY KUYELA, Parliament