MISA Zambia condemns attack on ZNBC camera person
MISA Zambia strongly condemns the October 12th attack on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Television Camera operator Kashete Sinyangwe by unruly sympathisers of a local businessman, Daniel Makina, at the Kitwe Magistrates Court.
As Makina was appearing before the court, his sympathisers decided to verbally and physically attack Sinyangwe.
While we do not know their motivation for carrying out the heinous crime, such an act of violence against a media practitioner right at the court premises is not only disrespect to, and contempt of court, but also an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the press – pillars upon which any democracy must be built.
MISA Zambia wishes to express concern over the continued attack on media freedom and the rights of journalists in Zambia by members of the public.
We wish to note that, most of these actions limiting press freedom and rights of journalists have been on the rise. The attacks and threats range from assault (verbal and physical), denial of access to news scenes and damage of gadgets.
Few weeks ago another Journalist, Raphael Mulenga of Flava FM Radio was also attacked and badly beaten by unruly people that rioted in Buchi Township in Kitwe after a Police Officer allegedly shot a car washer.
All these incidents amount to media censorship. Any attack against the media is an attack against democracy and we urge the government in Zambia to bring the journalists’ attackers to justice and ensure journalists can work in safety.
Members of the public should know that the media is not the enemy of the people. A free and independent media is essential to the Zambian people and our democracy, ensuring an informed public.
The media’s role in our democracy is more critical than ever, uncovering and reporting information, exposing wrongdoing, and holding public officials accountable.
MISA Zambia recommends that the police should investigate as a matter of urgency the cases that are before them to ensure that justice prevails. The state should also reign in on members of the public that have turned it a habit to infringe media freedoms and bring them to book
We also urge media practitioners to continue being professional in their work, vigilant and work together in ensuring their safety and security.
MISA Zambia stands in solidarity with the many Zambians who have already voiced their outrage at these attacks on media practitioners and defended the importance of a free and independent media as a pillar of Zambian democracy.
Vice Chairperson – MISA Zambia
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.