MISA Zambia condemns minister’s threats on K-FM radio
For Immediate Release
Lusaka, 27 November 2017.
MISA Zambia is disturbed that Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa has warned that he will close down K-FM Radio in Mansa if the station continues to broadcast divergent and opposing views from people perceived to be attacking the government of the day.
The reports quoting Mr Chilangwa indicate that he issued the threats when addressing a rally in Mansa on Sunday 26th November, 2017.
As MISA Zambia we believe that the Minister’s utterances are unconstitutional and boarder on abuse of authority of office and an infringement on the fundamental freedoms and rights of citizens.
Hon Chilangwa is not the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) mandated by law to carry out oversight functions on conduct of broadcasting houses.
MISA Zambia believes that the remarks issued by the Hon Minister are a reflection or position of the PF Government to close down media houses offering divergent views and information to the public in a democratic setting.
As an institution that stands for freedom of expression and media freedom, we strongly condemn these threats on K-FM radio by the Honorable Minister and call upon the President Edgar Lungu to discipline his minister.
We are saddened that the Provincial Minister threatened to close down K-FM if it continues to act as a platform for divergent views and freedom of expression.
The threats are an affront to the freedom of expression and media freedom and should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians as they do not reflect utterances of a serious government committed to upholding fundamental freedoms and rights of citizens.
We further re-emphasize therefore, and urge the Patriotic Front leadership to get to the bottom of the matter and discipline the Minister involved as paying a blind eye to the threats will encourage such acts at other radio stations to interview people on their radio programmes that have got divergent views for fear of being closed down.
The PF must take immediate action as an expression of its commitment to the ideas of freedom of expression and that of the media which are critical to the well of democracy and ensuring good governance in the country.
MISA Zambia Chairperson
20 Jun 2018