The recent assault on journalists by the government is a serious matter that needs urgent redress from all sectors of interest in Zambia’s governance system says a civil rights activist Brebner Changala.
Mr Changala said it was sad that the current government had decided to interfere in the operations of the scribes because it did not realise the importance of having a free media.
He charged that Journalists were watchdogs whenever a nation or a country went to sleep because they remained alert and guarded the nation and its people from political, economic and social abuse by those who are elected to superintend over national affairs.
The civil rights activist charged that when an elected government starts to target its own citizens for persecution and harassment, it meant that the regime has lost its legitimacy and should step aside.
“A legitimate government does not draw its authority from men and women in uniform but from all citizens in diversity be it the Church, civil society, political parties, student unions and professional bodies like the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ).
“Therefore the targeting of our young Journalists whose professional calling and mandate is to gather news and disseminate the same is uncalled for and demands condemnation. How therefore, can this be a crime mandating the entire state security apparatus to descend and lock up a Journalist in a morning raid whose only crime is that of being a Journalist. “Can the PF government tell the nation what it is that they are hiding from the people of Zambia? We all know that the corruption levels in this administration have gone up, very high and the fulfilling of their campaign promises is now a pipe dream,” Changala said.
He charged that the current PF administration to embark on a mission to attack Journalists and media houses was a set back to the development of the nation.
“The current state President Mr Michael Sata is barely functional and a hostage of uncertainty. Here is a president who came to power with a magic formula to solve all problems affecting the youth and the under privileged only to be met with cheating the unsuspecting young generation,” he said.
He said no sooner had Mr Sata got state power than he went to the archives to exhume old relics like the Daniel Munkombwe, Dr John Phiri, Alexander Chikwanda and Guy Scott to give ancient leadership to a vibrate young generation of the computer and matrix age.
“Surely, that in all fairness the people that Mr Sata had brought on board have failed to fit in with the young generation’s aspirations and expectations because this was the age of Samsung S4 and Ipad 3 .
“When Journalists decide to expose his inadequacies and incompetence he decides to lock them up so as to keep the nation in an information embargo or holding the entire nation incommunicado. That is a crime on his part if he doesn’t know,” Changala said.