The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) on Information and Broadcasting Services this morning refused to hear anything from Acting Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Patrick Lungu when he appeared before it.
This was because the Ministry of Information failed to officially communicate to the committee that its principal authorities were unable to appear before it.
Committee Chairperson Kabinga Pande said his committee expected that in the absence of the Minister, his Permanent Secretary should have appeared before the committee to answer concerns that have been raised by several stakeholders.
Mr. Pande said the Ministry of Information’s failure to effectively communicate to the committee over the summons which were issued last year, shows a lack of seriousness and commitment that the ministry attaches to the work of the committee and the media at large.
He said the Ministry of Information has a key role to play in whatever the committee was trying to achieve in terms of media ethics and where it wanted to drive the media in the country.
Mr. Pande said the committee was therefore of the view that it should wait for the Minister or the Permanent Secretary to appear.
He however thanked Mr. Lungu, who is Director at the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) for making an effort to appear before the committee saying it showed commitment towards the work of the committee.
And Mr. Lungu said he felt obliged and duty bound to appear before the committee as Acting Information PS when authority was given for the Minister or the PS to appear as all the principal authorities were out of town.
He said he appeared before the committee in order not to derail its work.