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By Chibaula Silwamba
Tue 13 Apr. 2010, 03:50 CAT
PARLIAMENTARY Committee on Broadcasting and Information Services chairperson Mwansa Kapeya has expressed concern at the collapse of ZNBC's radio one signal to rural areas like Mpika.

In an interview from Mpika, Kapeya, who is PF member of parliament for Mpika and a former broadcaster who worked for ZNBC for 38 years, blamed the government for the corporation's lack of radio spare parts.

"Radio has proved to be the most significant media in disseminating informative and educative programmes to majority of Zambians. For the first time in the history of radio signal delivery in this country, large parts of the Zambian community especially the rural area has been completely cut off from knowing what is happening in and outside Zambia by ZNBC radio.

In short, ZNBC radio has completely collapsed," Kapeya said. "When broadcasting was cared for by previous governments, spare parts for radio transmitters were procured expressly to ensure minimum service outage. The short wave services have been off air since February 1, 2010 and as I speak to you the situation is still the same."

He said the government had neglected rural people who depended on ZNBC radio one.

"What I have noticed is that the problem with our current government is that of indecision. It's very difficult for our government to make a decision on how to buy the required spare parts from the suppliers in the United States of America," he said.

Kapeya asked the government to quickly address the radio signal problems.
"As a veteran broadcaster myself, who served ZNBC for 38 years, I have always advised those concerned especially the government never to use methods that will tend to push away credible spare parts suppliers for radio and encouraging dubious dealers in substandard products," Kapeya said.

"Public efficiency is being adversely affected in the name of checks and balances. For this kind of inertia by our government is a clear indicator that this MMD government has completely neglected rural areas from where they command a lot of support during general elections."

He commended The Post for its role in information dissemination to urban and rural Zambia.

"We in Mpika are so grateful to The Post newspaper for being the only media providing valuable information to the people of Mpika on a daily basis including other rural districts, which are completely cut off by ZNBC radio. The Post is the only media that we depend on here in Mpika," said Kapeya.
Via Yimber Gaviria, Colombia

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