22nd September 2014
Banning Private Media Houses from Covering Parliament Opening
Colleagues our disappointment with parliament to allow all 129 accredited media houses to cover the opening of parliament on Friday 19th September 2014, cannot got without the strongest condemnation in deserves. It seems as if the speaker of the National Assembly and his staff do not fully understand what public institution and public figure means.
We are therefore disappointed that the public even was made private by denying independent media houses to cover it and give the public an objective view. The question is what will the Zambian people debate about if not matters of public interest such as President Sata’s speech? President Sata’s speech was supposed to be broadcast throughout every inch of this country. And the only way that would have happened would have been through these media houses. Unless parliamentary business is not important to the Speaker, but it’s our belief that Parliament is the single most important institution to this country. Its decisions and activities affect the public directly, this is not a lesson we should even give to the management at Parliament.
We therefore demand an explanation from parliament immediately on why they denied the Zambian people access to parliament. The Zambian people could not get a reaction from some Members of Parliament immediately after the speech because their representatives (the media) were denied entry into a public facility.
I am also request the UPND MPs to file a question to the Speaker to ask him why the media were denied access to parliament on Friday.
In same breath, we would like to register our displeasure with the continued harassment of journalists by cadres from thugs sponsored by the Patriotic Front (PF). We may not always agree with editorial policies of various media houses but harassment of their reporters is not acceptable in any society that claims to be based on Christianity. Let all well-meaning Zambians and Christians condemn this acts strongly.
Vice President – Politics