Arrangement of Sections



   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Application


   4.   Establishment of Authority

   5.   Functions of Authority

   6.   Authority not otherwise subject to direction

   7.   Constitution of Board

   8.   Appointments of Committee

   9.   Seal of Authority

   10.   Tenure of office and vacancy

   11.   Proceedings of Board

   12.   Committees of Board

   13.   Allowances of members

   14.   Disclosure of interest

   15.   Immunity of members

   16.   Prohibition of disclosure of information


   17.   Director General

   18.   Secretary and other staff


   19.   Prohibition of provision of broadcasting service without broadcasting license

   20.   Applications for license

   21.   Commercial Broadcasting Services

   22.   Community and religious broadcasting services

   22A.   Television levy

   23.   Subscription broadcasting services

   24.   Free to air broadcasting services

   25.   Licensing of operator of diffusion services

   26.   Licensing procedures

   27.   Conditions of licenses

   28.   Duration of licenses

   29.   Licenses not transferable

   30.   Withdrawal of licenses

   31.   Cancellation or refusal to renew a license for interference with postal and telecommunication apparatus

   32.   Powers of President in public emergency


   33.   Broadcasters to determine programme standards

   34.   Complaints relating to national broadcasting services or broadcasting services provided by other broadcasters

   35.   Investigation of complaints relating to the Corporation or other broadcasters

   36.   Action of Authority where complaint justified

   37.   Proceedings on failure by Corporation or broadcasting licensee to comply with recommendation

   38.   Obligation to keep records


   39.   Funds of Authority

   40.   Financial year

   41.   Accounts

   42.   Annual Report


   43.   Inspectorate

   44.   Powers of inspectors

   45.   Offences and penalties

   46.   Recovery of license fees

   47.   Regulations

   48.   Transitional provisions

   49.   Act not to affect Radio-communications Act


to establish the Independent Broadcasting Authority and to define its functions; to provide for the control and regulation of broadcasting and diffusion services; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[13th June, 2003]

Act 17 of 2002,

Act 26 of 2010,

Act 18 of 2017*,

SI 61 of 2003.


1.   Short title

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—


["Appointments Committee" deleted by s 3(a) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“Authority” means the Independent Broadcasting Authority established by section 4;

“Board” means the Board of the Authority constituted under section 7;

“broadcasting” <FT:Verdana,SN>means any form of uni directional electronic communication intended for reception by—

   (a)   the public;

   (b)   sections of the public; or

   (c)   subscribers to any broadcasting service, whether conveyed by means of radio frequency spectrum or any electronic communications network or any combination thereof;

[Subs by s 3(c) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“broadcasting licence” means a licence entitling the holder of provide one or more broadcasting services;

[Ins by s 3(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“broadcasting licensee” means a holder of broadcasting licence;

[Ins by s 3(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“broadcasting service” means any service consisting of broadcasting and is conveyed by means of an electronic communications network but does not include—

   (a)   a service which provides no more than data or test, whether with or without associated still images;

   (b)   a service in which the provision of audio-visual material or audio material is incidental to the provision of that service;

   (c)   a service or a class of service, which the Authority may determine does not fall within this definition;

[Ins by s 3(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“community” includes a geographically defined community or any group of persons or sector of the public having a specific, ascertainable common interest;

“community broadcasting” means a broadcasting service which—

   (a)   is fully controlled by a non-profit entity and carried on for non-profitable purposes;

   (b)   serves a particular community;

   (c)   encourages members of the community served by it or persons associated with or promoting the interests of such community to participate in the selection and provision of programmes to be broadcast; and

   (d)   may be funded by donations, grants, sponsorship or advertising or membership fees, or by a combination of any of them;

“commercial broadcasting” means a broadcasting service operated for profit and controlled by a person who is not a public or community broadcaster;

“Corporation” means the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation established under section 3 of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Act;

“Chairperson” means the person elected as Chairperson of the Board under section 7;


["diffusion service" deleted by s 3(a) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“Director-General” means the person appointed Director-General under section 17;

“electronic communication” has the meaning assigned to it in the Information and Communication Technologies Act, 2009;

“electronic communications network” has the meaning assigned to it in Act No. 15 of 2009 the Information and Communication Technologies Act, 2009;

[Ins by s 3(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“free-to-air service” means a service which is broadcast and capable of being received without the payment of any subscription fee;

[Ins by s 3(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“local authority” means a city council, municipal council, district council or township council established under the Local Government Act;

“media support organisation” means an organisation which provides material or technical assistance to media organisations;

“member” means a member of the Board appointed under section 7;

“public broadcasting service” means the acquisition production, and distribution by public broadcasting stations of non-commercial educational, instructional, informational, entertainment, advisory or cultural television and radio programmes and information that may be transmitted by means of electronic communications, and related material and services provided on non-profit basis;

[“public broadcasting” subs with “public broadcasting service” by s 2(a) of Act 18 of 2017.]

“radio” means the conveyance of one or more channels of audio information by means of an electromagnetic wave most usually propagated in space, having a frequency below 3000 GHZ;

“receiver” means an apparatus in respect of which no license is required in terms of the Radio Communications Act, which is designated to be used for the reception of a broadcasting service;

“religious broadcasting” means a broadcasting service which transmits programmes of a religious nature;

“subscriber” means a person who lawfully accesses, uses or receivers a retail service of a broadcasting licensee;

[Ins by s 3(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“subscriber management service” means subscription service provided by a licensee entitled to provide a digital broadcasting service;

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 18 of 2017.]

“subscription broadcasting service” means a broadcasting service provided to a subscriber upon payment of a fee;

[Ins by s 3(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

“television” means the conveyance of visual information, together with one or more channels or associated audio or suitably encoded textual information;

“television levy” means the levy charged under section 22A of this Act; and

[Ins by s 2(b) of Act 18 of 2017.]

“Vice-Chairperson” means the person elected as Vice-Chairperson of the Board under section 7.

3.   Supremacy of Act

If any inconsistency arises between the provisions of this Act and those of any other written law relating to the regulation of broadcasting services the provisions of this Act shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

[S 3 am by s 4 of Act 26 of 2010.]


4.   Establishment of Authority

There is hereby established the Independent Broadcasting Authority which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and of being sued in its corporate name and with power, subject to the provisions of this Act, to do all such acts and things as a body corporate may by law do or perform.

5.   Functions of Authority

   (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the Radio communications Act, the functions of the Authority shall be to regulate the broadcasting industry in Zambia.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1), the functions of the Authority shall be—

   (a)   to promote a pluralistic and diverse broadcasting industry in

   (b)   to establish guidelines—

      (i)   for the development of broadcasting in Zambia through a public process which shall determine the needs of citizens and social groups in regard to broadcasting;

      (ii)   for the issuing of licenses, giving due regard to the need to discourage monopolies in the industry in accordance with the Competition and Fair Trading Act;

      (iii)   on the required levels of local content and other issues that are relevant for a pluralistic and diverse broadcasting industry;

   (c)   to safeguard the rational and efficient use of the frequencies allocated to broadcasters by developing a frequency plan for broadcasting, which shall be a public document, in compliance with international conventions;

   (d)   to grant, renew, suspend and cancel licenses and frequencies for broadcasting services in an open and transparent manner;

[S 5(2)(d) am by s 5 of Act 26 of 2010.]

   (e)   to enforce the compliance of broadcasting services with the conditions of the licenses issued under this Act;

[S 5(2)(e) am by s 5 of Act 26 of 2010.]

   (f)   to issue to any or all broadcasters, advisory opinions relating to broadcasting standards and ethical conduct in broadcasting;

   (g)   to oblige broadcasters to develop codes of practice and monitor compliance with those codes;

   (h)   to develop program standards relating to broadcasting in Zambia and to monitor and enforce compliance with those standards;

   (i)   to receive, investigate and decide on complaints concerning broadcasting services including public broadcasting services;

   (j)   to develop regulations in regard to advertising, sponsorship, local content, and media diversity and ownership;

   (k)   to administer and collect the television levy and any other fee payable in respect of a public broadcasting service;

[S 5(2)(k) ins by s 3(a) of Act 18 of 2017.]

   (l)   to perform such other functions as may be conferred on it by this or any other Act; and

[S 5(2)(k) relettered as s 5(2)(l) by s 3(b) of Act 18 of 2017.]

   (m)   to do all such other acts and things as are connected with or incidental to the functions of the Authority under this Act.

[S 5(2)(l) relettered as s 5(2)(m) by s 3(b) of Act 18 of 2017.]

6.   Authority not subject to direction or control of other person

Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the Authority shall not be subject to the direction of any other person or authority.

7.   Constitution of Board

   (1) There is hereby constituted the Independent Broadcasting Authority Board which shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, perform the functions of the Authority under this Act.

   (2) The Board shall consist of nine part time members appointed by the Minister.

[S 7(2) subs by s 6 of Act 26 of 2010.]

   (3) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed to the Board unless the person is committed to fairness, freedom of expression, openness and accountability and when viewed collectively the persons so appointed shall be representative of a broad cross section of the population of the Republic.

   (4) The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall be elected by the members from amongst themselves.

   (5) A person shall not be appointed as a member of the Board if that person—

   (a)   is not a citizen of Zambia;

   (b)   is not permanently resident in Zambia;

   (c)   is a member of Parliament or local authority;

   (d)   is an office-bearer or employee of any political party;

   (e)   is a director or has direct or indirect financial interest in the broadcasting industry; or

   (f)   is an immediate family member of a person referred to in paragraph (d)or (e).

   (6) A member may not become a shareholder or otherwise participate as an applicant for a broadcasting license within 12 months of ceasing to be a member of the Board.

8.    ...

[S 8 rep by s 7 of Act 26 of 2010.]

9.   Seal of Authority

   (1) The seal of the Authority shall be such device as may be determined by the Board and shall be kept by the Secretary.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and the Secretary or one other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Board.

   (3) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal, may be entered into or executed without seal on behalf of the Board by the Secretary or any other person generally or specifically authorised by the Board in that behalf.

   (4) Any document purporting to be a document under the seal of the Board or issued on behalf of the Board shall be received in evidence without further proof, unless the contrary is proved.

10.   Tenure of office and vacancy

   (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a member of the Board shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of appointment and may be re-appointed for one further term of three years.

   (2) On the expiration of the period for which a member is appointed, the member shall continue to hold office until the member’s successor is appointed but in no case shall such further period exceed 12 months.

[S 10(2) am by s 8(a) of Act 26 of 2010.]

   (3) The office of a member shall become vacant—

   (a)   upon resignation;

   (b)   upon the death of the member;

   (c)   if that member without good cause or approval of the Chairperson is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board of which that member had notice;

   (d)   if that member is adjudged bankrupt;

   (e)   if the member is declared to be of unsound mind; or

   (f)   if the member is convicted by any court of an offence involving dishonesty.

   (4) A member may resign from office by giving one month’s notice in writing to the Minister.

   (5) Whenever the office of a member becomes vacant before the expiry of the term of office the Minister may, appoint another member in place of the member who vacates office but such member shall hold office only for the unexpired part of the term.

[S 10(5) am by s 8(b) of Act 26 of 2010.]

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