-Government has cautioned the
opposition political parties against harassing journalists during the
course of their duty in the country.
Information and Broadcasting Service Deputy Minister, Mwansa Kapeya,
observed that the trend of harassing journalists in the country has
persisted despite calls by government and stakeholders to protect
scribes from harassment.
Speaking when he addressed ZANIS employees at their office in Nchelenge today, Mr Kapeya assured media practitioners of government’s maximum protection, especially during their course of duty, adding that the PF government will ensure that media practitioners operate in a free and conducive environment without intimidation or harassment from any political party or individual.
The deputy minister emphasized that as a responsible government, the PF wants to see the media operate within a safe environment that is free from harassment and other risks that can lead to loss of life.
He was, however, quick to point out that the media have a duty and obligation to stand by their codes of ethics and to aspire towards higher standards of professionalism in executing their duties and report in a manner that is fair and balanced.
Mr Kapeya’s comments come in the wake of series of reports on the harassment of journalists and media freedom violations that have been caused by various political parties in Zambia and have been recorded and reported on by various media houses.
He noted that journalists merely report what is happening in the country and, therefore, should be protected or left alone to operate professionally.
Mr Kapeya noted that one day the people who are in the trend of harassing journalists will need them when they want to convey important information to the public.
He later addressed workers at Luapula community radio station where he appealed for professionalism and determination among journalists and other workers at the radio station before featuring on the radio.
And speaking earlier, ZANIS District Information Officer for Nchelenge, Eugene Mukuyungwa, said his office will ensure that it disseminates government policies and programmes to people and cover activities of the district fairly and professionally.
However, Mr Mukuyungwa called on the deputy minister to quickly address challenges of low staffing levels, erratic funding and lack of equipment among others.
Mr Kapeya, who is in Luapula Province on a familiarization tour of media houses, noted that government means well for the people by removing subsidies on maize and fuel so that savings can be used to develop the country equally.