FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1. SHIWANGANDU VIOLENCE CONDEMNED
We have learnt with sadness that a meeting scheduled to take place on Friday in Shiwangandu Constituency in Chinsali by the United Party for National Development (UPND) senior officials led by Former First Lady Mrs. Maureen Mwanawasa, former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and former Kaputa MP, Mrs. Mutale Nalumango, Lubasenshi Independent Member of Parliament, Hon. Patrick Mucheleka and Lunte MP Hon. Felix Mutatati was interrupted by acts of violence from unknown people.
The Police quickly restored law, peace and order, and the meeting was allowed to proceed.
We appeal to the Police and strongly urge them to quickly establish who caused this violence and bring the culprits to book. Initial reports indicate that the UPND transported into Chinsali an advance team they claim was “security” and this action seemed to have provoked the running battles from both camps.
It is for this reason that the PF will conduct its own internal investigation to establish what happened and who is behind these acts of violence. And if any member or leader of the party will be found to have been involved in disrupting this meeting, they will be dealt with.
But we should to hasten to state that, we are aware that they are schemes by adversaries and enemies of the Patriotic Front who are determined to show that the PF is a violent party or is intolerant to political competition, or practices thuggery, when in fact not. It is for this reason that we have to establish who imported this violence in the serene and peaceful environment of Chinsali.
This was a small meeting by the UPND and paused no political threat to anyone, and this incident therefore requires an investigation to establish the motive behind this. The country has witnessed nationwide campaigns so far that have been peaceful and orderly from all political parties. Therefore this particular incident is highly regrettable and should be regarded as an isolated incident.
It is for this reason that we dismiss with contempt remarks attributed to Mrs. Maureen Mwanawasa and her entire team making absurd claims that Zambia is a failed State because of this isolated incident. Her remarks are irresponsible and dangerous to the peace of this country.
The recent and desperate remarks attributed to the UPND show a party afraid of the electoral loss they are likely to suffer and have instead resorted to creating an atmosphere of fear and provocation that elections insisting that the forthcoming elections would not be free and fair, and are attempting to undermine results of such an elections.
These schemes are meant to make the country ungovernable in the post-election period and should therefore be rejected by all Zambians. We urge the PF members to continue holding the peace and co-existence that has been demonstrated so far. We further wish to warn any member who will act against the peaceful spirit of the party that such a member will be sternly disciplined if found wanting or promoting any acts of violence.
2. MUVI TV HAS SOLD ITS NEWS TO UPND
We have established beyond reasonable doubt that a serious ethical breach occurring at MUVI TV where the station has sold to the United Party for National Development (UPND) the news bulletins.
The wide commercial coverage the UPND party is receiving but masquerading as news is fully paid for and is beyond normal courtesies extended to media institutions or given to its reporters. This is a serious breach of Electoral laws and regulations. It’s also a breach of media ethics as news is sacred and cannot be bought in the manner MUVI TV and the UPND have done.
The law and practice allows a media organization to sell airtime between commercial breaks but cannot sell airtime in the news or editorial content as MUVI and UPND have done. MUVI TV could be a private institution but are expected to abide by the law. When our people watch news, they expect it to be objective, fair, sincere and truthful
In this case, our people are unknowingly watching political UPND adverts masquerading as Muvi TV news. This matter is already before our Legal Committee for immediate litigation. The Secretary General, Mr. Davies Chama will also render an official complaint to the Electoral Commission of Zambia to alert them of this serious breach of the law.
We also urge the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to quickly investigate this matter and deal with MUVI TV
HON. HARRY KALABA MP
MEDIA AND PUBLICITY COMMITTEE