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Attacks on radio stations should not be new normal

12 Feb, 2021

What happened

Patriotic Front cadres, armed with iron bars and catapults, smashed one of the window panes at the radio station’s entrance when it featured Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba on a live programme yesterday.
MISA Zambia says that attacks on one community radio station sends a chilling message to other stations more especially as the nation is approaching the 2021 general elections.
MISA's position
MISA Zambia is urging the Zambia Police to identify and punish the instigators of the attack. Political party players should know that no community win when violence is used to settle differences.
This aggression is unacceptable as it is an intolerable attack on press freedom and it also carries the seeds of misunderstanding and violence yet dialogue is the best option for humanity.
MISA Zambia also finds this uncalled-for act as intimidating and hindering Freedom of speech which is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation.

Broadcasting stations have a crucial role to play in providing information to the public, and any disturbance to a station is an infringement on media freedom and the public’s right to information.

Attacks on one community radio station send a chilling message to other stations more especially as we approach the 2021 general elections. Political party sympathisers should follow laid down procedures of registering their grievances about any broadcast material they find aggrieving as opposed to engaging in violence.
We also wish to commend the police for their swift action in protecting the station from further damage. However, we are urging the police to make sure that the identified cadres in this incident are arrested and prosecuted.
Issued by
Hellen Mwale, Chairperson

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Those affected:
Radio station
Number affected:
Perpetrators:
Patriotic Front cadres
Types of actors:
Non-state
Location:
Mporokoso, Zambia