MISA Zambia says that it is concerned that acts of censorship are on the rise and may compromise the right to freedom of expression and media freedom ranking for Zambia.
In a statement condemning UPND cadres’ harassment and subsequent removal of economic and equity party president Chilufya Tayali from Chingola’s Kokoliko Radio where he was discussing issues affecting the nation, MISA Zambia chairperson Barnabas Simatendi called on Zambia Police Service and the party in whose name “these persons are acting to take meaningful action”.
“MISA Zambia has received with serious concern acts of censorship at Kokoliko FM which was forced to end a radio program in its trucks by suspected United Party for National Development (UPND) supporters. We received a report on 31st December, 2022indicating that suspected UPND cadres disrupted a live paid for radio program at Kokoliko radio featuring Economic and Equity Party (EEP) President Mr. Chilufya Tayali who was discussing issues affecting the nation” he said.
“We have been informed that several cadres stormed the radio station and ordered the journalists who were on duty to stop the program citing that Mr. Tayali did not have the right to be on the radio station. It is also reported that the said cadres did manage to chase Mr. Tayali out of the studio and used abusive language against the journalists on duty and yet our country is a multiparty democracy”.
Fr Simatendi warned that if actions of censorship continue, the country would regress as regards freedom held and democracy. “MISA Zambia is very saddened by this incident and is calling on Zambia Police Service and the party in whose name these persons are acting to take meaningful actions as this case is the fourth, we have recorded on matters of party supporters carrying out acts of censorship or violence against journalists. It is concerning that these acts are on the rise and may compromise the right to freedom of expression and media freedom ranking for Zambia,” warned Fr Simatende
“The state freedoms are key are key to democracy sustenance and growth including good governance and development that leaves no one behind. However, if these actions continue, soon we shall regress as a nation regards these freedoms and our democracy.”