Top Star killing local media

The PF Govt’s plans to cripple private media is in the over drive gear. PF’s new strategy to cripple private television and radio stations is clear for all to see. This current leadership hates being told the truth but love to be praised by everyone. This scheme started with the closure of the Post News papers on a pretext that they owed Zambia Revenue Authority moneys in taxes but one wonders as to a big private employer like the post newspaper could not be engaged professionally so as to save the jobs of young writers the company had employed.To put it simply, this is an act of tyrants and dictatorial minded leaders such as the one Zambia is going through right NOW.

As if the pain the former post workers went through is NOT enough, the PF regime is about to put local privately owned station out of business using Topstar to frustrate local television stations so that they either close down or are forced into partnership with PF aligned business if they are to survive. The regime wants to make sure that before 2021, both electronic and print media sing PF praise anthem. A perfect example of how they want the media chapter to play out is as can be seen by the privately onwned “Daily Nation”They have already got one privately owned playing the role of the Times of Zambia and Daily Mail without shame because they are feeding from the Government coffers without care for the majority Zambians who are dying to be told the truth and not rubber stamped journalism. The PF regime has also already gotten to their side a few private radio stations, some of them have been earmarked for nationwide broadcasting at all costs ahead of 2021 general elections, and of course a few private television stations that are only licensed but have no frequencies. Another example is how some radio stations have exchanged hands due to some crazy political pressure forcing them into possible closure or total sale of the whole entity for as low as K300,000 in some cases, what a shame it is to the media industry.

Now here is how the plan is likely to play out in an event that some Private television stations pull out of Topstar; the regime has 6 possible private stations with local channels in the name of Muvi TV, Power TV owned by Power FM , Hot TV ( owned by Hot FM, major shareholder being, Copperbelt Minister, Japhen Mwakalombe), KBN owned by Christians for Lungu and Zed entertainment TV owned by a proxy who is a comedian and a PF Counselor of a ward in matero among others. Diamond TV is already on Topstar, shareholders are known. Fellow citizens, please know this ; TV stations that are earmarked for replacement are simply asking for what is rightfully theres from Topstar which by the way the minister of information and broadcasting who is also chief Government spokesperson, said TopStar is Government. We have the footage to prove she said this at the stakeholders conference at Mulungushi International Conference Centre during her closing remarks, which now is a clear sign of who is running the affairs of our country. PF is using the law wrongly to blackmail private TV stations with closure if they fail to pay what TopStar is asking for as carriage fees and again Dora Siliya is on record saying some stations will fold while others will survive, this too is on tape we have it. What this means is that once the station is in a desperate situation, they must be forced into stake selling to survive, are we a failed state?.

I sympathies with Muvi TV. They started well. I hope they won’t betray the people of Zambia by going to bed with TopStar. Zambians looked to Muvi TV as pioneer of private television ownership to stand as a beacon and champion of media freedom. Alas this political machination meant to destroy anyone deemed unfriendly or liberal in there editorial policy will have to pay the price and that time is beaming around the corner with astronomical carriage fees to be announced soon.As for the marriages of conveniences in media business,let me state that Should Muvi budge to the pressure, I can rest assure the management that will spell their downfall.

TopStar is a conduit of theft of public money which cannot be accounted for and allowing this scheme of forced mergers or channels replacement by those perceived to be Pro-PF is a clear show of disregard for law, later on muzzling of the free press. What could be Lungu and his cabinet be hiding or trying to achieve with this scheme?. As if the scheme is not troubling enough, the destination of the money that Zambians contribute through subscription to watch Topstar remains a mystery. There are over 1.4 m active subscribers on Topstar. For local bouquet subscription alone, Topstar makes in excess of K49 million every month, not mention those who subscribe to a full bouquet and revenue from adverts and others.And if you multiply K49m by 12months the total is *K588,000,000.00*, again where is this money sitting and why can’t it be shared with local stations who also have viewers too paying the subscription fees? Morally Lungu and Dora must know that the world does not revolve around them but remember that time of reckoning is coming and nothing will stop the truth from coming out.

With this cashflow, Topstar is capable of paying the$273 million loan from Exim Bank of China within 5 years as opposed to the 25 years period set. If 5years is possible what do you think is the motivation behind lining up there user-friendly TV stations who are untested and a risk to the loan repayment plan?

Who is keeping Topstar money subscriptions from 1st Oct 2017?

It’s time you stood Zambians and be counted,Say no to Topstar mess and send the message by not subscribing to this illegal entity. Don’t be an accomplice in the theft of Public money. They got the loan in your names as Citizens and beneficiary of the digital migration demand respect and accountability dont be afraid. Politicians come and go, so shall this breed!!!

Say No to killing of local companies in preferences of foreigners and PF aligned media houses.

Say no to Topstar

By Zambian Watchdog

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