Attacks on radio stations should not be new normal

Attacks on radio stations should not be new normal
MISA Zambia has called on the police to identify and punish the instigators of the attack on Liberty Community Radio Station in Mporokoso.
Reacting to the attack on Liberty Community Radio station, MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale says 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 sends a chilling message to other stations especially as we approach the 2021 general elections”, she says.
Liberty Community Radio station was attacked by Patriotic Front cadres armed with iron bars and catapults as the station featured Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba on a live programme.
Mwale says that political party sympathizers should follow laid down procedures of registering their grievances about any broadcast material they find aggrieving as opposed to engaging in violence. She has also commended the police for their swift action of 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.
Find below the statement from MISA Zambia;
ATTACKS ON RADIO STATIONS SHOULD NOT BE A NEW NORMAL – MISA
LUSAKA – MISA Zambia is urging the Zambia Police to identify and punish the instigators of an attack yesterday against Liberty Community Radio Station in Mporokoso district.
Yesterday 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.
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

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.