October 8, 2010
STATEMENT RELEASED BY THE PRESS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA IN REACTION TO ASSERTIONS BY MUNALI MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT REFERING TO MEDIA WORKERS IN THE PUBLIC MEDIA AS DOGS FOR MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND BROADACSTING SERVICES
PAZA wishes to condemn Munali member of parliament Mumbi Phiri’s utterances against Zambian journalists working for the public media.
Ms Phiri [was] quoted as having called media practitioners working for the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation as dogs for the minister of information and Broadcasting services, Hon Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha. This was after ZNBC asked her to comment on reports that she had sold a plot belonging to some residents in her constituency.
We feel Ms Phiri is peeping above her limitations as an MP and she may not have been well schooled in the art of credibility and honour. Our submission is that Mrs Phiri should have declined to comment on the report without necessarily insulting media workers who have got nothing to do with the problems being faced by the people of Munali constituency.
As PAZA and media workers, we would not allow any citizen to refer to Mrs Phiri as anyone’s dog because of the respect we accord to human beings and we expect the same from Mrs Phiri.
We therefore demand an apology from Mrs Phiri to prove to the Zambian people that she is indeed an honourable MP. As things stand, her credibility remains under serious scrutiny.
If she meant what she said, and if she was not misquoted, we suggest that Mrs Phiri should quit her position immediately because credibility as virtue for a member of parliament.
We are also aware that Mrs Phiri has been harassing a member of staff at the Times of Zambia in a manner that leaves everyone to wonder whether she holds moral values to lead a constituency in this country.
PAZA will not tolerate this level of misconduct coming from Mrs Phiri and any other politician. We are aware that part of Mrs Phiri constituency is suffering a lot of poor sanitation systems that include blocked drainage and the poor road network. Her job as an MP is to explain how she has spent the K400 million Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to the people of Munali and not to fight media practitioners.
We wish to warn Mrs Phiri to avoid over stretching a sharp tongue towards innocent journalists in the public media who are working very hard to ensure that they package news that is credible, well written and balanced every day.
Mrs Phiri appears to enjoy the tag that she is the most controversial MP in the land but we believe she is not. She is not anywhere near the heroes and heroins this country has produced both politically and otherwise and our advise.
Press Association of Zambia (PAZA