Youth Journalist Chilufya Makasa detained for 13 days

On January 27, Freelance Journalist, Chilufya Makasa, spent 13 days in detention following the publication of a video featuring a woman’s complaints about the high cost of living in Zambia.

According to reports received by MISA Zambia, Makasa was apprehended by the Zambian police on January 27, 2024, from his residence and was initially held at West Wood Police Station in Mumbwa for six days.

Subsequently, he was transferred to Lusaka Central Police Station and before been moved to Kabwata Police Station.

Makasa’s family has been endeavouring to secure a police bond for his release, but their efforts have been unsuccessful thus far. Despite providing required sureties for his bail, they were instructed to wait for further instructions before his release.

Makasa was issued a charge sheet, listing charges of hate speech and dissemination of false information. He was jointly charged with the woman featured in the video for allegedly using insulting language towards the President.

In response to Makasa’s detention, MISA Zambia arranged a meeting between Makasa’s father and their lawyer, Dr. Kaaba, at Kabwata Police Station. During the meeting, arrangements were made for Makasa to be granted bail, with sureties to be provided the following day. Makasa is scheduled to appear in court on February 27, 2024.

Following the issuance of Makasa’s bail, MISA Zambia received a letter from the Zambian authorities on February 16, 2024, requesting guidelines on journalism ethics regarding the video posted by Makasa through the Generation TV Facebook page. In response, MISA Zambia requested a physical meeting with the Zambian police to address the matter amicably.

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