LAZ asks Kambwili to retract threats against Radio Phoenix

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THE Law Association of Zambia has asked information minister Chishimba Kambwili to apologise to the nation and retract his recent threats to revoke Radio Phoenix’s operating licence.

Last week, Kambwili threatened to revoke the radio station’s operating licence if it is found that it’s being influenced by the UPND.

And in a statement on Sunday, LAZ president George Chisanga called on Kambwili to respect and protect the freedoms of expressions and association.

“LAZ calls upon Mr. Kambwili to respect and protect the freedoms of expression and association and to retract his statement and to apologise to the nation for his unfortunate remarks. As LAZ, we will always rise to the defence of the rule of law and human rights as contemplated by the Republican Constitution,” Chisanga’s statement read in part.

He stated that Kambwili’s statement was a serious violation of freedom of expression and media freedoms, which were guaranteed by the Constitution.

“These utterances have no place in our multiparty democracy in which the freedom of the exchange of ideas must be recognised, promoted, protected, especially by the officials who have taken an oath to uphold the Republican Constitution and to protect the citizens on whose mandate they have the privilege to govern,” Chisanga stated.

“LAZ would add that our rights and freedoms as provided for in the Constitution are also contained in various international conventions to which Zambia is signatory.”

He stated further that if divergent views and opinions could not be respected and tolerated, the country risked being transformed into an autocratic state where the rule of law and respect for human rigjhts would constantly be under threat.

Chisanga also reminded Kambwili of President Edgar Lungu’s statement during the opening of Parliament on September 18, 2015 that “the government remains committed to ensuring that it fulfils its obligations to protecting, respecting and fulfilling human rights and to preserve the freedom of expression and association.”

SOURCE: The Post Newspaper

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.