MISA condemns PF threats to close down K-FM radio
MISA Zambia condemns, in the strongest terms, threats by the Patriotic Front cadres in Mansa to close down K-FM Radio if the station goes ahead and host Chipili Independent Member of Parliament Hon Jewis Chabi on its radio programme dubbed “Speak your minds Thursday”.
The radio station was scheduled to feature Hon Chabi on a paid up radio programme but unfortunately the PF cadres blocked the entry to the radio station and threatened with violence to close down the radio station.
As MISA Zambia we believe that the PF cadre’s behavior is uncalled for and an infringement on the fundamental freedoms and rights of citizens.
The PF cadres are not the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) mandated by law to carry out oversight functions on conduct of broadcasting houses.
MISA Zambia believes that the threats issued by the PF cadres are a reflection or position of the PF party to close down media houses offering divergent views and information to the public in a democratic setting.
We are further concerned that this incidence is not the first occurrence as we recorded a similar incident on 16th August, 2017 at Muchinga FM Radio in Chinsali District in the Northern province of Zambia, which received threats from some PF cadres after it featured Dr. Chishimba Kamwili on its Red-Carpet program which attracted a lot of attention and participation from the listeners. Subsequently, PF cadres on 14th December 2017, attacked 5FM radio in Lusaka for inviting Dr Chishimba Kambwili to feature on its ‘Burning Issue’ radio programme.
The threats are an affront to the freedom of expression and media freedom and should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians including the Patriotic Front (PF). We therefore call on the PF and police to bring to book the culprits and not pay a blind eye as it will encourage such acts and may result in self-censorship by the media.
The PF must take immediate action as an expression of its commitment to the ideals 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