Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zambia) is struggling to state its position on the politically motivated retiring of young journalists at Times of Zambia.
Six young but senior journalists were retired by the government controlled and funded Times of Zambia last week. Sources say the move was politically engineered by information permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga and George Chellah, president Sata’s mouth Piece.
The Watchdog understands that the witch-hunt of journalists who are suspected of not being PF cadres will extend to other government controlled media like Daily Mail, ZNBC and propaganda news agency ZANIS.
But MISA, an association that receives donor funding to promote press freedom and protect journalists from victimisation by government is silent.
The Press Association of Zambia which draws its members from government media journalists is virtually dead.
The Zambian Union of Journalists, another media organisation that could speak for victimised journalists is said to be in the fore front compiling lists of journalists perceived to be anti-government.
MISA-Zambia is said to have equally been compromised with two board members frequently spotted in dark corners with government and State House officials.
At least one board member of MISA has applied to be sent into diplomatic service by the PF government.
MISA chairperson Daniel Sikazwe has been evading questions from local journalists on the matter. He has been promising to revert back to journalists but never does as he is busy attending to some government committees where he sits on behalf of MISA.
MISA seems to be one of the civil society organisations whose leaders have annexed themselves to the ruling party yet submitting funding proposals to donors pretending to be providing checks and balances to government.
Last month, president Michael Sata clearly declared that the law on freedom of information will not be passed until people in the villages are sensitised, something that can never happen, but MISA has been quiet.