MISA Zambia Statement condemns harassment of journalists by Opposition Political Party cadres during search

It is with regret that MISA Zambia has learnt of the case in which cameraman Paul Kaluba and journalist Chris Habeenzu from ZNBC who were harassed by UPND cadres on Monday 2 March 2015, as they tried to cover the search that was taking place at the residence of UPND President Hakainde Hichilema.

This is not the first time UPND cadres have harassed journalists in the course of their duty. We are strongly urging their leader Mr. Hakainde, to refrain his cadres from perpetuating violence against media personnel.

MISA would like to bring to the attention the politicians who are fond of terrorizing the media to desist from this as tenets of good governance and democracy do not allow such.

Politicians who have the tendency of terrorizing or disrespecting media independence should bear in mind that their deliberate decisions not to support the values of democratic tenets which Zambia subscribes to would drag this country backwards.

The UPND risk losing the confidence from their supporters as they have demonstrated that they do not believe in media freedom and the democratic values/principles that Zambia believes in.

Harassment and assault of journalists is a matter that we continue to condemn and will continue to do so until this state of affairs is rectified by the relevant authorities.

We wish to reiterate that it is the duty of the media to inform the public on issues that affect their welfare and they should not be victimised for performing their duty.

It is important for people to appreciate the role journalists play in informing the public on issues of public interest and we know that the case in mention is one such case where society expects the media to inform them.

We also wish to call upon the law enforcement agencies to investigate this issue and bring the perpetrators to book.

We shall monitor this case closely to its logical conclusion.


Helen Mwale
MISA Zambia Chairperson

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) 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.