Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda says the government wants to transform the operations of the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) as a public relations wing.
Ms Kasanda said it is high time that ZANIS performed its mandate effectively and efficiently as a government public relations department of informing the public on various programmes of national interest.
She said this in Solwezi today when she held a meeting with ZANIS officers during her visit to the district.
Ms Kasanda said her Ministry is aware of many operational challenges the department is faced with countrywide among them lack of equipment and transport.
“Sometimes it breaks our heart as a government and we ask ourselves why did we allow ZANIS to get to this level, why did we run it down, where did we go wrong? And that is what we want to change now as UPND government, “She said.
Ms Kasanda said she is passionate about changing the face of ZANIS and other public media institutions by equipping them with equipment.
She said the government has solicited money to equip ZNBC and ZANIS in its one year and six months in office which must be commended.
“So you as ZANIS you have no excuse not to gather news and disseminate information to the public, or reaching out to people because we have brought you the equipment and transport, that you have been lacking,” Ms Kasanda said
Ms Kasanda has since urged ZANIS in Northwestern province to guard the equipment jealously and use it for the intended purpose.
And ZANIS Director Loyce Saili said the institution has enough qualified officers who are capable of carrying out its mandate.
Mrs Saili said with the support coming from the government of equipping the department with operational tools and transport it is ready to carry out the task of informing the public on government programmes.
Provincial permanent secretary Grandson Katambi has thanked the Ministry for coming to the aid of the department.
Col. Katambia said the equipment and the vehicle had come at the right time when the department needed them most.
ZANIS provincial Information Officer Florence Mwisa has pledged to put the tools to good use and thanked the Ministry for the gesture.
Ms Mwisa further pledged that the department will now be able to produce more news content to contribute to the ZANIS channel.
Ms Kasanda handed over five canon cameras, a set of public address systems and a vehicle to the ZANIS provincial office.
The Minister who is accompanied by her permanent secretary Kennedy Kalunga,ZANIS Director Loyce Saili and other senior officers in her Ministry is in Solwezi district on a two days familiarisation tour.