Panos angered over continued harassment of community radio stations by PF thugs

The Panos Institute of Southern Africa has expressed concern at the continued harassment of community radio stations and disruptions of activities at the stations by the PF police and thugs.
Panos Executive Director Lillian Kiefer has said in a statement released Friday that the trend should come to end because community radio stations should perform their duties without hindrance from the government.
She said her organisation has noted with concern that community radio stations in Chipata, Petauke, Kasama, Mpika and Siavonga among others have in the last three months been disrupted by non media officials with station managers being ordered to stop some programmes from airing.
“Just this week police officials in Isoka stormed a radio station to stop a live programme that was featuring Democratic Front President and leader of the Orange Alliance Miles Sampa,” she said.
She said the police crossed their boundaries by not allowing radio stations to run peacefully in their districts.
She has since urged the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the police to ensure radio stations are protected so that they operate freely ahead of the forthcoming elections.
“Government must also make sure they set up stiff disciplinary measures to stop government officials from abusing their positions,” she said
The outgoing PF government has continued to attack radio stations and disrupt programmes that feature opposition party leaders as they panic to maintain their hold on power.

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