President Michael Sata has no powers to revoke the broadcasting licenses of Radio Phoenix and QFM and the abuse of the powers of decree has the potential to frighten both local and foreign investors, Edward Mumbi has observed.
Mumbi has charged that it was extremely dangerous to govern the country by decree because that was dampening Zambia’s investment climate.
Reacting to President Sata’s decree that national broadcasting licences issued to Radio Phoenix and QFM radio should be revoked, Mumbi who is former special assistant to UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said investment licenses were issued with accrued rights that could not easily be revoked by a Head of State.
He told the Daily Nation that investment licenses such as broadcasting had accrued rights which were meant to help the prospective or established investor acquire investment finances from financial or shareholders.
Mumbi said while President Sata had all the powers, he should have realised that revoking broadcasting licenses could not be carried out by the work of mouth because there were legal implications in the licenses.
He said it was shocking that President Sata could choose to damage the investment climate of the country by wantonly directing the revocation of licenses for institutions that were eager to expand and contribute to employment creation.
He said President Sata should not be using the name of Hichilema to gag the media because the opposition leader like any other citizen had the right to express his views using any form of medium.
Mumbi has advised Radio Phoenix and QFM radio to seek the intervention of the courts because the issuance of licenses was done with wide consultation from a wide range of experts.
“What is worrying is that President Sata has shown a propensity to govern the country by decree and this is a dangerous way of running the country. While President Sata has all the powers, he cannot by decree revoke investment licenses because such licenses come with accrued rights. The accrued rights are meant for the investor to source funds for reinvestment or even get business proposals,” Mumbi said.
Mumbi said President Sata should have sought for expert advice from the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) before announcing that the licenses should be revoked.
He explained that Sata should have found out why such licenses were issued adding his unilateral decision had sent a wrong signal to the prospective investors.
Mumbi said the presidency did not lack intelligence information and that it was doubtful if the Head of State was briefed on how and why former ministry of information and broadcasting had issued the broadcasting licenses.