On World Press Freedom Day, government threatens to ‘smoke out’ journalists

On World Press Freedom Day, government threatens to ‘smoke out’ journalists

Labour minister who is also acting information minister Fackson Shamenda has reiterated the PF government’s threat to arrest journalists from online and critic media houses whom he has described as criminals harboring political motives.

Shamenda, who was speaking in Lusaka’s Chazanga compound where the World Press Freedom Day Committee donated a house to a vulnerable family accused some sections of the media of invading the privacy of senior government officials.

“Kuti muleingilila abakulu ku ma bedroom muleishiba ifilecitika (Why should you be penetrating elderly people’s bedroom to expose what is happening there?)” asked Shamenda in apparent reference to the Zambian Watchdog’s recent exposure of the marital problems that have arisen at State house where President Michael Sata’s current wife Dr. Christine Kaseba has fled home.

Shamenda also indicated that the government will not enact the Access to Information (ATI) bill. In spite of government’s recent assurances for the bill to be presented during the next sitting of parliament, he lied that they were still consulting on the matter.

He also told the audience that the PF will stay in power for forty years before another party comes to rule Zambia but his statement attracted booing and jeers from the residents who had turned up to witness the house handover ceremony.

And an advocate for people with disabilities, Elijah Ngwale has demanded that President Sata comes out of hiding to address the nation in the same way he was doing during campaigns because blind men and some vulnerable people have no access to facebook, which is Sata’s mode of communication.

Ngwale also told Shamenda that if he did not want to be criticized ‘he should say nothing, do nothing and be nothing’. He advised him to go to the farm and do farming.

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