MISA Zambia has condemned the tear gassing of Chete Radio in Nakonde District, Muchinga province, by suspected Patriotic Front (PF) cadres.
Condemning the incidence, MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale has described the act as a threat to freedom of expression and a hindrance to freedom of the press, especially that this year is an election year.
Find below the press statement ;
MISA CONDEMNS THE TEAR GASSING INCIDENT AT CHETE RADIO
10th March, 2021
LUSAKA – MISA Zambia strongly condemns the teargassing of Chete Radio in Nakonde district, Muchinga province, by suspected Patriotic Front (PF) cadres.
The teargassing incident reportedly occurred Wednesday morning (10 March 2021) after the community radio station featured United Party for National Development (UPND) Provincial Chairperson, Rev. Matthews Chilekwa, and Mr George Sinkala, an aspiring candidate for Nakonde Constituency.
MISA Zambia describes the act by assumed PF cadres as a threat to freedom of expression and a hindrance to freedom of the press, especially that this year is an election year.
We would like to remind political party supporters that freedom of expression is a right in the Zambian Constitution and should therefore be respected by all.
Moreover, media freedom is also provided for in the Zambian Constitution and must therefore be upheld because a free media that provides platforms for various political parties is key to a free and fair election. A free media also enhances the ability of voters to make informed decisions during elections.
Furthermore, the media is the fourth estate that provides checks and balances in the country, and therefore, the political parties are urged to treat them as stakeholders in the development of the nation.
To this end, we wish to appeal once again to political party supporters in the habit of attacking media houses for featuring the opposition to desist from doing so because it is an affront to democracy and the right of access to information by citizens.
We also call upon the Zambia Police Service to make sure that the people involved in these acts of media intimidation are brought to book.
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.