By PASSY HAACHIZO –
THE media has been challenged to play a leading role in the fight against corruption in the country.
During a media talk held at Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) attended by radio station managers from Lusaka, ZAMCOM director Oliver Kanene said it was sad that the media had lost its culture.
The media talk was jointly organised by ZANCOM and Action for Transparency Zambia (A4T).
Mr Kanene said Zambian media in particular concentrated on trivial matters leaving out issues affecting members of the community.
He said there was need for journalists to do investigative stories and bring out issues of corruption.
“I appeal to the media to play a leading role in the fight against corruption, something that they can do, instead of always accompanying ministers,” Mr Kanene said.
“It is sad that every time I hear issues of corruption it is from Timothy Moono from Anti-Corruption Commission, and my question is, what is the media doing?”
A4T project officer Odette Nakeempa said her project had so far trained 1,500 people from the media, civil service and Parliamentarians since inception in 2013 on budgeting, corruption and mismanagement of funds.
Ms Nakeempa said only 500 members still remained to undergo the training on how to report cases of corruption in the country.
She also said that 15 trainers were tutored on how to report in case one was told to pay at the hospital, and the need for pupils not to pay for their lessons from grades one to seven.
Ms Nakeempa also said that there was need for transparency in the way funds were used on most projects such as buildings unlike where some public funds were channeled elsewhere without being accounted for.
A4T project coordinator, Matimba Choombe said recent research showed that corruption had reduced by five per cent.
“We are yet to give the percentages on how corruption has reduced by five per cent, and on this one we will invite people from all walks of life, including the media,” said Ms Choombe.
New Age newspaper editor-in-chief, Paxina Phiri said more work was needed to sensitise members of the public on the importance of reporting issues of corruption.