ZNBC Refuses to Air Chanda Chimba III Documentary

A highly placed source at the state broadcaster the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, ZNBC, has revealed that a television documentary produced by freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker Chanda Chimba III on the life of one of Zambia’s former Defence Ministers Benjamin Mwila is being barred from airing. Mwila was Minister of Defence from November 1991 to October 1997.

The source is part of a panel of ZNBC senior staff members tasked to review the 45-minute documentary entitled “The Living Years – B. Y. Mwila September 17, 1943 to August 17, 2013”. According to the source, the panel includes the Controller TV, Controller Radio, Controller News and Current Affairs, the Legal Counsel, the Head of Productions and Operations, the News Manager and the Sales and Marketing Manager.

The source says the panel has seen nothing wrong with the documentary which was taken to ZNBC two weeks ago stating that it is a well researched piece of work. “The only problem is that it is produced by Chanda Chimba III and the acting Director- General Mr. Kenneth Maduma is failing to pass a decision to have it aired fearing for his job,” the source adds.

The source says that there are strict instructions from the Patriotic Front government for ZNBC not to have anything produced by the freelance journalist who produced the Stand Up for Zambia documentary series in the run-up to the 2011 elections. The move is aimed at ostracizing Chimba, the source alleges.

It is actually not the first time ZNBC is doing this. Two years ago Chimba produced a documentary on Mwila’s son Yoram, a former under 17 Zambia Soccer Team captain which ZNBC declined to air but the private television channel Muvi TV aired it.

B. Y. Mwila died of cancer in South Africa on August 17, 2013 after being evacuated for treatment on August 4 and the documentary is meant as a commemoration to mark one year of his passing. He was accorded a three day period of national mourning with the State Funeral attended by President Michael Sata on August 22, 2013. Mwila and Sata served in Frederick Chiluba’s first MMD cabinet in 1991.

Source : Zambia Reports

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