The entire Zambian government has shunned the 2014 Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia media awards.
The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dr. Joseph Katema who was invited is believed to be scared of answering questions from journalists on the enactment of a new constitution, Access to Information Bill and the harrasment of journalists.
Other senior government officials including Information Permanent Secretary Bert Mushala have also shunned the event that was taking place at press time (April,25,2014) 20:50 hours Zambian time.
“Which senior government official would accept to attend a function organised by Journalists at a time when people are talking about the constitution and harrasment of journalists,”. One government official said on phone when asked why government was not present.
A number of journalists are expected to win various awards in different categories including best business reporter, sports reporter and community reporting.
The organising committee invited Catholic Archbishop of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu who at Press time was still delivering his speech.
More details on the winners of various awards later.