Zambia: Govt Removes Prime TV From TopStar
23 April 2020
The Zambian government’s recent decision to remove Prime TV from the TopStar digital migration platform has reportedly been criticised by many media groups and opposition political parties among other stakeholders.
Zambia’s largest privately-owned TV station was abruptly removed from the digital signal carrier after allegedly refusing to air free COVID-19 messages.
It is reported that Dora Siliya, Zambia’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, issued a statement confirming the situation and instructing all government entities to cease any business that they may have with the station.
In a letter to Prime TV, TopStar’s acting CEO Liu Yingnan said that since the Zambian government holds shares in TopStar, it could no longer continue to host Prime TV.
Yingnan confirmed that TopStar had removed Prime TV from its platform with immediate effect.
Gerald Shawa, Prime TV’s CEO, has since taken the matter to the courts claiming that the rights of his station had been violated.
The British Embassy in Zambia, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia and opposition political parties are believed to be putting pressure on the country’s government to reverse its decision.
MISA Zambia’s Chairperson, Hellen Mwale, said that the removal of Prime TV from the TopStar platform is not only going to affect the public’s access to information but also sends the wrong message to the citizens that their government does not accommodate diverse views.