State house press aide Amos Chanda has directed the government controlled Independent Broadcasting Corporation – IBA to offset the over K4m debt the PF owes various media houses for the 2016 campaigns, some portion of debts will be paid through adverts and programs done for para-statal companies with inflated costs. This of course is another abuse of the public purse.
The PF failed or neglected to pay the bills for various programs done and after deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri distanced the party from the debts accrued some radio stations threatened to sue the party but to avoid the embarrassment of being dragged to court failing to pay the debts State house Press aide Amos Chanda had a meeting with some selected radio stations at his Wayayaya lodge on 20th June where the deal was struck with mostly private commercial radio stations.
Recently the IBA threatened to close down some radio stations for failure to pay but after the board was told that the radio stations’ financial difficulties was partly due to the failure by PF to honour their obligations.
A source from IBA disclosed that the move has robbed the organisation of some income because part of the money for its day to day operations comes from the licensing fees they get from the media houses.
“So for example if we are collecting K5,000 from one radio station per year and if PF owes them K10,000 then the K5,000 the radio station owes us will be written off and the balance they get it from quasi government institutions and I see organisations like Zesco and local authorities being conduits for this theft,” said the source.