The Commission of Inquiry which President Peter Mutharika tasked to probe the maize procurement deal involving State grain trader the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and a Zambian firm has rejected a request from private- Zodiak Broadcastinf Station to cover the probe live.
Zodiak and Times Radio afre covering live a similar inquiry being carried by Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.
In a letter to ZBS which the commission chair , retired chef justice Anastanzia Msosa has signed, said live coverage will not give chance to people who have information to express themselves clear.
“Kindly be informed that the commission declined to grant your request due to the fact that the commission has already interviewed other witnesses in camera as part of its procedure. The commission is also of the view that witnesses may not express themselves freely if they know that the proceedings are being covered on Air,” reads the letter in part.
However, Zodiac controller of news Gabriel Kamlomo has described the response as unfortunate.
“We feel this is an opportunity lost. Given the obvious interest that this issue has sparked, we believe that a little more openness in the manner this process is handled would have helped calm tensions and reduced unneccesary speculative narrative. And our view is that the most flexible such vehicle should be the media platform.
“But we respect the position and view of the commission on this. Meanwhile, we are grateful to Parliament for allowing the live coverage of interviews it is conducting with different stakeholders on the same subject. We have huge feedback that suggests citizens are beginning to make sense of the real issues in play. As a responsible media brand, we will continue to provide space for enhanced responsiveness.” Kamlomo said.
Msosa is leading the Maize Procurement Inquiry Commission which includes Solicitor General Janet Banda, Isaac Kayira and Mike Chinoko who are members of the commission.
The retired Chief Justice Msosa said her commission is going to do all necessary inquiries into the maize procurement and will present the report to the State President who is going to decide what happens afterwards