Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema says he would want to see private media accompanying him to trips (local/ foreign) so that there is balanced news coverage.

Commonly, only state media accompany Presidents, but he says this should change, so that the other view is also covered.

“When the President and ministers travel, the private media should be included so there is a balance in the news,” he says.

Meanwhile, President Hichilema has refuted claims that the US is setting up a military base in the country, saying such reports are not true.

His government says what the US is setting up in that country is an office for security cooperation and not a military base.

He warned fake news peddlers, adding that the media should operate freely in Zambia, but doing so responsibly.

“We’re firm believers in freedom of expression & desire to see journalists operate freely but responsibly, by upholding the ethical and professional standards that govern the profession.

“Media freedom must come with responsibility,” he says.