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Zambia police quiz journalist over leaked audios

27 Jan, 2022

What happened

Zambian police on 24 January 2022 recorded a warned and cautioned statement from a journalist they accused of destroying evidence, as the fallout over leaked audio of a conversation between two government officials was broadcast on KBN TV.

A lawyer representing the KBN TV station manager said police were still conducting investigations into the case.

KBN TV recently broadcast a leaked audio between two government officials that were allegedly plotting against the government. Following the publication of the story, the station manager, Petty Chanda, was summoned by the police for questioning.

The Zambian Information and Media Minister, Chushi Kasanda, in an ominous message on social media site, Twitter, said the “government is concerned with the dwindling levels of professionalism in the media fraternity”.  

On the leaked audio, she further said the Cyber Security and Crimes Act made it illegal for a person to access, disclose or attempt to disclose to another person, the content or any intercepted communication, or use or attempt to use any intercepted communication.

MISA's position

MISA calls on the government of Zambia to drop charges against KBN TV and its station manager with immediate effect. Rather, the government should be spending its energies and resources investigating the contents of the leaked messages as opposed to shooting the messenger.

It is ironic that the government is now relying on the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act, a law that President Haikande Hichilema pledged then to repeal if elected into power.

We urge President Hichilema to live by his campaign pledges and create an environment that promotes freedom of the media and of expression.

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. 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.

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