JOINT STATEMENT IN REACTION TO ASSERTIONS BY MUNALI MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT REFERING TO MEDIA WORKERS IN THE PUBLIC MEDIA AS DOGS FOR MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADACSTING SERVICES, ISSUED ON 10TH OCTOBER 2010
Media Associations have resolved to petition Speaker of the National Assembly Amusaa Mwanamwambwa in view of the apparent refusal by Munali Member of Parliament Mumbi Phiri to apologise following her statement which referred to journalists in the public media as Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Lt Gen Shikapwasha’s “dogs.”
Media associations are disappointed that despite several appeals by various associations, Mrs Phiri has ignored demands that she apologises.
As media associations, we have decided to march to the national assembly building to petition the Speaker to either reprimand her or take any corrective measure against her.
We are therefore calling upon all media practitioners, sympathizers and associates to assemble at BP Arcades Shopping Mall at 13:00 hours in time for a protest march to parliament building
We feel that Mrs Phiri’s behaviour puts the name of the Speaker into disrepute and puts the reputation of parliament into question.
Her apparent refusal to apologise shows how deep-rooted her arrogance is, and we think she is fighting wrong people who have nothing to do with the land, and other problems in Munali Constituency.
If she understood her role as Member of Parliament, then she must have known that her office is dignified, and dignity goes with her public conduct. We wonder whether Ms Phiri meets these parameters.
Mrs Phiri was quoted as having called media practitioners working for the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Lt Gen Shikapwasha’s dogs.
This was after ZNBC asked her to comment on reports that she had sold a plot belonging to some residents in her constituency.
Press Association of Zambia Vice-President Amos Chanda
Zambia Union of Journalists General Secretary- Angela Chishimba
Zambia Union of Broadcasters and Other Information Disseminators General Secretary- Masuzyo Ndhlovu
Zambia Media Woman Association Board Member -Sally Chiwama
Press Freedom Committee of the Post -Sheik Chifuwe