“The Government of the day expects the Zambia Daily Mail to serve the people. Your support and activities should be within the public mandate, not aligning yourself with a particular political party or organisation. So in pursuit of public service, you must know that you are serving the public..."
Sam Phiri (MIB Permanent Secretary) challenging the media institution to avoid the temptation of aligning itself with individual political parties. I have previous touched on how these government papers have become agents of poverty. In that piece I also noted that these newspapers are in financial stress because of poor demand. This appears to be confirmed by Evans Milimo (Managing Director) who notes that the company is in need of K10 billion and is appealing to government to consider recapitalising the institution. I wish he can ask for privatisation! The paper also has statutory debts owed to ZRA, Napsa and the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board :
“To get the company out of its financial quagmire, we request shareholders to help with recapitalisation by injecting K10 billion in the paid up share capital to enable the company buy more delivery vans, computer to plate machine, replace old computers and refurbish institutional infrastructure. We also appeal to government to write off statutory debt which stands at K40.2 billion. Most of this debt is historical.”
Now why should the tax payer continue footing the bill for a newspaper they hardly read? The only way to get Daily Mail back on a healthy financial footing to privatise it. Isn't it interesting that many people who were crying for ZAMTEL to be privatised are no where to seen, on such a obvious target? Government refused to recapitalise ZAMTEL! Why would they now waste money on this paper when others can perform that function? We also have Times of Zambia in government hands. We need to ask these questions and start pushing seriously for this paper to be privatised. Zambians need to wake up and stop letting their money being wasted.
I should say in recent days, I have noticed a slight move towards neutrality by the Daily Mail. I hope that is good preparation for their privatisation! As government sees that it no longer serves their propaganda purposes perhaps it will move to privatise it.