By Abigail Kashweka
Eastern Province Minister Peter Phiri in January this year urged the Ministry of Information and Media to address challenges faced in the dissemination of information in the province.
Speaking when he received the Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda who called on him, Mr Phiri noted low staffing levels, limited transport and funding as some of the issues limiting the capacity of the Zambia News and Information Services from fully publicising government policies and successes.
The Eastern Province Minister stated that despite government doing a lot in the region, some people still question its achievements due to limited publicity.
“Staffing levels are too low to assist in dissemination of information, the Public Address Systems are outdated and funding is equally a challenge,” he said.
He said all these issues are needed for the visibility of government.
“We need wide coverage because government is doing a lot but information dissemination is being hampered by these challenges,” he added.
In response, Minister of Information and Media told Mr Phiri that some of the issues raised like outdated and limited Public Address System are already captured in this year’s budget.
She said the Province will this year get a fair share of the equipment.
“There is an allocation for equipment in the 2023 budget. For other challenges like transport, we are gradually working on them,” she said.
The Minister, however, called on the Eastern Provincial Administration to closely work with the Zambia News and Information Services in the region to publicise government programmes and policies.
She said some of the challenges faced by the Zambia News and Information Services can be solved locally if the provincial administration extended financial help.
“Southern Province Provincial Administration is closely collaborating with Zambia News Information Services, so we would also ask you to cushion us for the meantime,” she added.