Let media operate without fear – PSAF
Lusaka, January 17TH, 2015, ZANIS —- The Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) has called has called upon different stakeholders to ensure that the media would operate without fear or favour during the Presidential By-elections next Tuesday, .
This is contained in a statement signed by the Institute’s Executive Director Lilian Kiefer received by ZANIS in Lusaka today.
Ms Kiefer says where anyone has grievances against individual journalists or media houses, please use the right channels, she said.
She however advises the media to be responsible to foster good governance, accountability and transparency among elected officials.
“ The media can only do this with the support of all stakeholders, especially the voters, candidates and their political parties.
“ The media have a responsibility to provide factual and accurate information to all stakeholders in this process.
“ We also have a responsibility to reciprocate this role, providing factual and accurate information to the media. Feeding the media with unfounded, inaccurate information is uncalled for, “ she said.
During this important time in the history of the country, the media’s role is to drive debate, to inform and educate the nation about different issues relating to the election.
The PSAF Executive Director says the media should be allowed to do so without any restrictions.
She observed that in the last few weeks, PSAf has received a number of reports of media practitioners being harassed and even injured while carrying out their duties.
“ We would like to strongly condemn such harassment of the media by political leaders and their supporters. We call on all the candidates or their campaign teams to publicly denounce violence, “ she says.
Its PSAf’s vision to ensure that of a Southern Africa community that drives its own development. And one way in which citizens can drive their development is by participating in the election of a candidate they feel will meet their aspirations, without any fear, without being co-erced.