FODEP condemns harassment of ZNBC journalists by PF officials

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The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has strongly condemned the anti-democratic behaviour and conduct exhibited by Sports Minister, Chishimba Kambwili, PF Deputy Secretary General, Anthony Kasolo and Chongwe MP, Sylvia Masebo on ZNBC newsroom staff for carrying their journalistic duties.


FODEP Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi said the trio’s conduct is uncalled for and a danger to the growth of the media and Zambia’s a democracy.


Mr Chipenzi said the conduct and behaviour do not warrant the officials to be in those positions of leadership they currently hold because they are extremely misfits to any democratic type of leadership.


He said in a statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today that the trio has already forgotten that a few years ago they were in the opposition and will not be in government forever. 


He said FODEP hopes Zambians will open their eyes and ears and seriously rethink the type of leaders they would want to lead them ahead of the elections in 2015 and 2016 especially that some of them misbehaving are potential presidential candidates in their own political parties.


Mr Chipenzi has, however, appreciated and commended the ZNBC Board for the timely defence of the defenceless journalists at ZNBC whom politicians want to take advantage of by using intimidatory tactics.


He said the comprehensive statement from ZNBC Board Chairperson, John Mulwila, on behalf of ZNBC Board, is highly timely and commendable and a rare trait and move by any ZNBC Board over the years. 


Mr Chipenzi has since called on Acting President, Guy Scott, to show leadership by disciplining the named senior members of the PF and lecturing them on how to behave democratically.


He said failure to do so will only make the ruling party, which he said is already fractured with internal wrangling, to become even very unpopular.


He said Zambia belongs to all Zambians and not a few individuals who should act to deny the public information just because it is divergent to theirs in order to advance and shape their political motives.


Mr Chipenzi stressed that ZNBC is not a PF propaganda wing but has an obligation and a moral mandate to inform the nation and to be fair and balanced in their coverage as guided by their editorial policy.


He said at this crucial electoral moment, Zambians should be allowed access to every bit of information so that they make informed electoral decisions for the betterment of the country and more so for ZNBC to abide by the provision of the Electoral Code of Conduct.


Mr Chipenzi encouraged ZNBC journalists and other media houses to report things the way they happen without fear or favour as that is the role of media in a democratic country.