The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has told off copperbelt useless minister Mwenya Musenge for insinuating that radio stations in Zambia must inform the police before hosting political leaders on their radio stations. Below is a reproduced statement signed by MISA Zambia chairperson Hellen Mwale.
Ref: Respect the right to Freedom of expression and the media
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia is disturbed with the calls by Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge that radio stations in the country must notify the police before they host political party leaders on their programmes. This statement is not only disappointing and retrogressive, especially from a party that benefited so much from the Zambian media to gain popularity and win the vote, but a big danger to the rights of the Zambian citizens to express themselves freely, to access vital and truthful information and to media independence.
MISA Zambia would like to urge the Patriotic Front to teach its members that democracy is a governance system in which ideas are the only commodity that is traded through freedom of expression which can be achieved via appearance on radio, television or through meetings and other means as social media.
However, it seems the party is trying to curtail this right in order to stop dissenting views or ability of others to share their ideas and opinions as provided by our constitution which is the supreme law of the land. We urge the PF to denounce the violence and bring to an end this violent behavior of their cadres instead of them extending their intimidation to the media which every citizen is free to use to express their views.
The rights to freedom of expression and access to information in addition to the media’s ability to operate independently are vital in any society especially a democratic one as they protect other human rights such as the right to access clean water, better health facilities while they prevent bad governance and
underdevelopment which are common in our country.
Therefore, we wish to urge the PF to educate its cadres and teach them that Zambia is a democracy in which only ideas compete and not blows or any form of terror. Zambia is not a mafia state where the most violent take the reins of power, instead it is only those with the brilliant ideas that should triumph.
Acting Chairperson – 16 April, 2014