MISA disappointed with Vubwi court verdict to fine assaulters of journalists Peter Sukwa and Kelvin Phiri

21 Jun 2016

MISA Zambia is disappointed with the fine of K12, 000 slapped on Patriotic Front Vubwi district Chairperson Micheal Tembo who was on Monday found guilty of assaulting Chipata-based Post Newspaper correspondent Peter Sukwa and his Feel Free Radio counterpart Kelvin Phiri by the Vubwi Magistrate’s court.

It is our considered view that perpetrators of violence such as Micheal Tembo should be sent to jail as slapping a mere fine is a trivialisation of the humiliation and pain suffered by the two journalists in this case to the extent where Peter Sukwa was urinated into the mouth and nearly burnt alive.

The fine meted out by the court does little to emphasise the importance of the need to safeguard individual rights and media freedom as it will not deter would-be offenders-especially those with political connections-from carrying out similar acts.

MISA is against all forms of political violence especially against media practitioners and we wish to categorically warn all perpetrators of violence to desist from this undemocratic and unpatriotic trend.

We will engage the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to allow for private prosecution which will enable an appeal in this matter in an attempt to secure a custodial sentence for Micheal Tembo.

We will use all channels at our disposal to ensure such blatant acts of intolerance and terrorism against media practitioners are brought to a stop for the safety of journalism and a functional democracy.

Hellen Mwale

Chairperson

MISA Zambia Chapter

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