MISA censures police for harassing journalists

The summoning of Muvi Television journalist Mwaka Namfukwe by the police is tantamount to intimidation and harassment of media personnel, says Media Institute in Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia chapter chairperson Nalumino Nalumino.

Mr Nalumino has said it was depressing that the police had decided to summon Ms Namfukwe as an individual instead of her gatekeepers, the editors.

Ms Namfukwe has been summoned in connection with the story about how some police offers were reportedly being promoted through corruption.

“It is unfortunate that the police have decided to personally write to Ms Namfukwe demanding that she presents herself before the police to explain the source of her story, he said

He said the police should have investigated the matter themselves after the said story was aired and not to begin intimidating the reporter who had authored the story.

He said Ms Namfukwe was not representing herself when she was doing the story and that the police should have written to Muvi TV management as opposed to directly asking the reporter to explain how she got the information.

He said ethically, journalists were supposed to protect their sources and that the police should not begin to coerce reporters to disclose their sources of the information.

‘Journalists must be allowed to gather information without being harassed or intimidated by anyone. We are deeply concerned with the summoning of the Muvi Television reporter Mwaka Namfukwe by the police.

And Mr Nalumino has disclosed that MISA would this week call for a stakeholders meeting for all the political parties to sensitize their cadres on the dangers of harassing media personnel.Mr Nalumino stated that it was not fair for journalists to continue being victims of violence in their course of duty when all they aimed to do was to inform, educate and entertain the public.”We consider this as a threat to media freedom and we call on all political parties to educate their cadres that journalists are not politicians. If this continues, the danger is that this could get worse in 2016 if it not curbed now,” Mr Nalumino said.