Harassment of scribes an assault on democracy

The harassment of media personnel in Zambia is an assault on democracy and should quickly be stopped, says the media consultant in Lusaka Justin Mwape.

Mr Mwape said the action by law enforcement officers to intimidate the work of the media must be seriously checked before things go to worse.

He told the Daily Nation that the affront and assault on the democratic process through the infringement of freedom of the Press and intimidation of Journalists was getting out of hand in Zambia.

He said that it was disappointing that the law enforcement agencies were in the forefront raiding journalists when they had failed to do their job professionally in political circles.

“Why can’t they go for people who are breaking the law with impunity and criminals who are busy robbing people in the streets,” he said.

Mr Mwape observed that over the past several years, the independent mediainZambia has faced harassment, physical intimidation, and threats at the hands of government agents.

“Those who are behind intimidating and harassing the media are not being sincere because all of them were known to use the media. Everyone is therefore free to provide checks and balances to the government on issues of public interest through the media.

“The same PF government, they are in power today because of the media, to be specific they used the same independent media which they are harassing today, to form government,” he said.

He doubted the Freedom of Information Bill, which was promised to be enacted within 90 days, would come to pass because the PF government appeared to be not appreciating the work of the media.