MISA Zambia condemns barring of some media houses from covering opening of parliament

MISA Zambia notes with sadness the sudden and retrogressive decision by the government to block some media houses from covering the opening of parliament on Friday 19 September 2014.

We want to put it to the attention of the clerk of the National Assembly and her collaborators that parliament is not a private institution but a public institution which is composed or elected and not appointed people’s representatives.

This decision does is not only an insult to the media profession but also amounts to undressing our so called democracy before a global audience. We appeal to whoever is behind this shameful act to rescind their decision, above all our main appeal is to President Sata himself to issue a directive to counter this archaic, barbaric and shameful act.

We are mindful that not so long ago, the President brought to shame some of the overzealous civil servants when he directed that people were free to discuss his health because he is a public figure, it is such intervention that we ask for from his Excellency the President.

MISA Zambia treats this as an assault on the media and an affront to Zambia’s democracy. If this decision is not reversed through a public statement, MISA shall convene an emergency meeting at which we shall declare a full combat battle with the executive because outrightly they don’t view us as partners but as opponents.

We also challenge the opposition members of parliament to boycott tomorrow’s session if this decision is not reversed so that no parliament shall run.

Hellen Mwale

MISA Zambia chairperson

About MISA Zambia

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.