MISA Zambia has demanded the immediate release of incarcerated Daily Nation Newspaper proprietor Richard Sakala, Production editor Simon Mwanza and FODEP Executive director MacDonald Chipenzi.
MISA acting chairperson Helen Mwale described the offence of publishing false information likely to cause public alarm and despondency in the country that Sakala, Mwanza and Chipenzi have been framed as not only draconian and archaic but retrogressive, colonial and an affront to media freedoms
‘As MISA, we note that the Daily Nation published the information regarding the secret recruitment from a source and this would not warrant their persecution.
‘We demand the release of the journalists and that the charges levelled against them be dropped because we feel that this is a threat to Zambia’s democracy curb freedom of expression and gag the media,’ said Mwale.
Mwale said the Zambia police should just have refuted this claim instead of harassing the media personnel who are supposed to provide checks and balances to the ruling Patriotic Front government.
MISA, through it acting chairperson appealed to all well- meaning Zambians to rise up and ‘denounce the barbaric and draconian action’.
Mwale also challenged government to state its position on freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in the country.