Veteran editor Fred M’membe has been arrested in the on-going degeneration of human rights in Zambia.
Just yesterday, state sponsored armed gangs attacked meetings addressed by the country’s main opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.
M’membe, editor of the Post newspaper has been arrested for publishing a letter which the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wrote to President Edgar Lungu informing him of their investigations of one his aides for corruption.
The anti-corruption body launched an investigation into President Lungu’s aide, Kaizer Zulu, over a US$200,000 bribe he allegedly received from a Chinese contractor to facilitate business with the government. The Post published the ACC’s letter in March. In May police summoned M’membe, and the author of the story, Mukosha Funga, for questioning but did not arrest them.
However, yesterday the police asked the two journalists to appear at Lusaka’s Woodlands Police station for questioning. After about eight minutes of questioning, M’membe and Funga were arrested for publishing the ACC letter, which police say was a classified document.
‘He is in cells now at Woodlands police station with his reporter Mukosha Funga. It’s in relation to a letter that ACC wrote Lungu to investigate Keizer Zulu’, a police source told the Watchdog.
M’membe is one of the 67 World Press Freedom Heroes. He was honoured in 2000 in Vienna, Austria.