The Committee to Protect Journalists says it has observed a worrying trend by the government of Zambia to intimidate and control the media. And the Media institute of southern Africa in Windhoek, Namibia says it is closely monitoring the blocking of the Zambian Watchdog from inside Zambia.
“In September 2011, Zambians voted Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front into power and celebrated his commitment to end corruption and promote Zambian development. But in the past 12 months, we have witnessed a worrying trend of efforts to intimidate and control the media, and heavy-handed policing of opposition gatherings,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine.
“No meaningful development is possible if people cannot air alternative views.” She was commenting of the blocking of the Watchdog. See the CPJ website here
And the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has issued the following statement;
28 June 2013
Lack of access to Zambian watchdog by citizens worries MISA Zambia
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia is concerned that some sections of the Zambian society have been occasionally failing to access the online publication, Zambian Watchdog for about three days.
MISA Zambia has received complaints from various stakeholders complaining that they are failing to access one of the most influential online media in Zambia which is an alternative source of news for many citizens.
The development is also being closely monitored by the MISA Regional Secretariat in Namibia which has for over a decade advocated for media freedom, diversity, independence and pluralism.
28 June 2013