MISA Zambia alarmed by PF interference, threats of violence at Kasama’s radio Mano
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia chapter is alarmed by the threats of violence against journalists at Kasama’s Radio Mano who are currently living in fear for their lives.
We have received a complaint in which two senior Patriotic Front officials directed cadres at a meeting in Kasama to ‘attack’ and ‘sort-out’ one of the radio station’s editors, Tobias Mangani.
It is even more alarming that one of the officials blatantly encouraged the cadres by saying he would provide a lawyer to take care of them should they be arrested for attacking Mangani, following complaints that the station was offering coverage to the opposition with Mangani’s facilitation.
We would like to warn all those involved to immediately desist from any acts aimed at intimidating the staff at the radio station which is within its right to operate in line with its mandate of offering a platform for information and public debate.
MISA will not hesitate to take stern action to censure all those involved especially that high ranking ruling party officials are at the centre of this violation against the democratic freedom of the press to offer a platform for participatory governance.
We call upon President Edgar Lungu to take decisive action and tame his party officials and cadres who seem to have gone on rampage country wide attacking and interfering with the operations of several media houses in the country with a view to coerce them to black out the opposition.
MISA is closely monitoring the situation on the ground as it develops at Radio Mano in Kasama and we will announce the course of action to be taken.
We therefore offer our solidarity to Radio Mano and we call on journalists at the station to remain calm and carry on with their duty of facilitating the dissemination of information and citizen participation in governance without fear or favour.
Chairperson-MISA Zambia Chapter
20 Jun 2018