Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia Chapter has learnt with deep shock the arbitrary suppression of freedom of expression being exhibited by the democratically elected Patriotic Front (PF) government in the country and has immediately called for the reversal of this unbecoming trend.
MISA Zambia Chapter Acting Chairperson, Hellen Mwale, has told QFM News in a telephone interview that her organization is saddened that an accountable number of armed state police in both uniform and plain clothes were yesterday deployed at Radio Mano in Kasama in an effort to thwart area MP Geoffrey Mwamba from featuring on a paid for programme.
Ms Mwale also notes with sadness that journalists were held captive and not allowed to move out or enter the Radio Station.
She adds that this development in addition to other recorded infringements on the media that have been committed by the PF in its two years of being in office speaks volume of their desire to suppress freedom of expression and eventually drain our democracy.
She recalls that this is the fifth time this year that the citizens of this country are being barred from featuring on the Radio Station.
The MISA Acting Chairperson has since appealed to government to immediately stop barbaric, draconian and old fashioned type of politics.
She states that the media in Zambia stands by the preamble as enshrined in our Zambian constitution which embodies the principles of openness, transparency and upholding of democratic principles and as such the media is there to provide a platform for any citizen who has information to disseminate.
she furthermore adds that the deployment of police at the first ever community radio in the province which was widely used by the PF while in opposition amounts to gross abuse of the security forces and is unlawful under the laws of Zambia.
She has since reminded the Police that the duty is not to be used to harass and intimidate the citizens but rather to offer protection to the people of Zambia including those that are perceived as enemies of the ruling PF.
qfm ( Sunday 29th December 2013 )