Dont silence media -Changala

The Criminal act of arresting journalists on unfounded suspicion is totally unacceptable because they have the right to inform the nation as they gather information freely says civil rights activist Brebner Changala.

And Mr Changala has demanded that the charges against the journalist must be dropped because there was lack of evidence that written notes could amount to sedition when its part of the call for reporters to take notes.

Mr Changala said it is very wrong for police to detain people and then start to carry out investigations on them while they were in custody.

He said this in particular reference to the two journalists Thomas Zyambo and Clayson Hamasaka that were detained by police before investigations.

Mr Changala charged that what happened to the two was the tip of the ice berg under the PF dictatorship and that the worst was yet to come.

He said the media was under siege because it was obvious that this government did not want to be corrected or challenged and has since called on Zambians to put a stop to this.

“My appeal also goes to information permanent secretary Amos Malupenga who comes from the private sector, and whose media house suffered immensely under the previous administration. Amos must use his experience in the private media visa vie government intolerance to defend journalists especially those in private sector.

“He is terribly lacking in wisdom, he fought for rights of journalist while in the private media and is now a participant in all this which is hypocrisy of the highest order,” he said.

The civil rights activist said that through by keeping quiet on all the brutalisation that media personnel had gone throw under the Patriotic Front government was sending wrong signals on his character and profession.

Mr Changala said if Mr Malupenga did not agree with what was happening to the journalists, he must step aside and show leadership in defence of the media in the country.

The two journalists Zgyambo and Hamasaka were seized and detained in the early hours of Tuesday by police officers who pretended to be looking for drugs. The two were released after more than 48 hours in police custody.