The Non-Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) is deeply saddened at the reported post election violence in some parts of the country. On behalf of the women’s movement we appeal to all the leaders of political parties to denounce the violence and make their members refrain from engaging in any form of violence.
It is important that as the Constitutional Court decides on the election petition all Zambians remain peaceful. We particularly urge leaders of all political parties to desist from using inflammatory and derogatory statements against each other. The Patriotic Front (PF) who were declared the winners in the August 11 election should avoid mocking the opposition. Similarly, we urge the opposition especially the United Party for National Development (UPND) to avoid issuing inflammatory statements that may cause anarchy in the country.
We have also noted with deep concern the reports especially in the public media which seem to be inciting ethnic tensions. It is the responsibility of all media in the country to ensure that we maintain the peace. The media have a responsibility particularly to ensure that they play a unifying role by avoiding divisive reports that may cause anger and hatred among the people.
Meanwhile NGOCC is saddened by the decision by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to suspend the broadcasting licenses of three media houses (i.e. Muvi TV, Komboni Radio and Itezhi Tezhi Radio). While we do not condone any form of illegality we think the suspension of the three media houses is aimed at muzzling the independent voices. We urge the IBA to engage the said media houses in a more civil manner and allow them to continue broadcasting. Zambia is a democracy and the media has an important role to play in deepening this culture as the fourth State on checks and balance in governance sphere.
Sara Hlupekile Longwe