The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) zambian Chapter has described the PF’s decision to use police in order to block Kasama Central parliamentarian Geoffrey Bwalya mwamba also popularly known as GBM is a reflection of barbaric, draconian and old fashioned politics.
The leading Media body has also demanded that the trend be stopped immediately, this is according to a media statement signed by the organisation’s Acting chairperson Hellen Mwale following a board meeting that was held.
below is the Press Statement.
MISA Zambia PRESS STATEMENT ON THE BLOCKING OF GBM AT RADIO MANO, IN KASAMA: PF MUST STOP THE BARBARIC, DRACONIAN AND OLD FASHIONED POLITICS OF SUPPRESSING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
We have learnt with deep shock the arbitrary suppression of freedom of expression being exhibited by the democratically elected PF government in our country and we immediately call for the reversal of this unbecoming trend.
We have information that an accountable number of armed state police in both uniform and plain clothes were this morning deployed at Radio Mano in Kasama in an effort to thwart area MP Geoffrey Mwamba from featuring on a paid for programme. We also note with sadness that journalists were held captive and not allowed to move out or enter the Radio Station.
This development in addition to other recorded infringements on the media that have been committed by the PF in it’s two years of being in office speaks volume of their desire to suppress freedom of expression and eventually drain our democracy.
This is the fifth time this year that the citizens of this country are being barred from featuring on the Radio Station.
MISA would therefore like to appeal to government to immediately stop this barbaric, draconian and old fashioned type of politics.
We would want to state as MISA that the media in Zambia stands by the preamble as enshrined in our Zambian constitution which embodies the principles of openness, transparency and upholding of democratic principles and as such the media is there to provide a platform for any citizen who has information to disseminate.
Therefore, the government of the day must equally abide by these principles and be tolerant to divergent views.
The deployment of police at the first ever community radio in the province which was widely used by the PF while in opposition amounts to gross abuse of the security forces and is unlawful under the laws of Zambia.
We demand that this abuse and harassment of journalists must stop immediately.
As MISA we would like to remind the Police that theirs is not to be used to harass and intimidate the citizens but rather to offer protection to the people of Zambia including those that are perceived as enemies of the ruling PF.
MISA- Zambia National Governing Council