Attacks on journalists is a hindrance to democracy which can never exist without freedom of expression and media freedom.
THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has urged the Zambia Police Service to bring to book all those who physically attacked journalists and the people that had gathered at Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) on 31 May 2013 in Matero in Lusaka.
MISA Zambia Chairperson Nalumino Nalumino said his organisation is highly concerned with the violence by the suspected Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who attacked innocent citizens whose rights include freedom of expression.
Mr.Nalumino urged the PF government to take more stringent measures against party supporters who attacked journalists as this was not the first time that such an incidence has occurred.
“On September, 2012, a Post newspaper photojournalist Salim Dawood was beaten by suspected ruling PF supporters in Lusaka’s Kanyama Township as he tried to photograph them. Salim Dawood suffered at the hands of suspected PF cadres who had intentions to stop a United Party for National Development (UPND) rally in Lusaka,” he said.
Mr. Nalumino said violations of this nature were a hindrance to democracy which can never exist without freedom of expression and media freedom.
“We would like to remind the PF as a ruling party to lead by example because it is not the first time their cadres are taking the law into their own hands.
Mr. Nalumino said the PF should manage its membership and ensure that they respect freedom of expression and media freedom.
“While we take note of the efforts by the government and the PF to address this vice following the incident, these efforts will result into nothing if the PF treats such perpetrators with kid’s gloves,” he said.
The BIGOCA violence by the suspected PF cadres was against a gathering that met to protest the removal of subsidies on fuel and maize as on Friday 31 May 2013.