Criminalise publication of indecent pictures, says Church

The church has strongly condemned the indecent pictures being published in some media houses and has called for government to enact a law that would criminalise such publications, Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) secretary general Reverend Susanna Matale has said.

Matale said government should enact a law that would prohibit the publication of scantily dressed women patronising social places because the pictures were offending public morals.

“The church does not allow such indecent exposures and it shall not be part of it. We want government to immediately enact a law that would criminalise the publications of scantily dressed women in the newspapers. That would help to stop such pictures to be published,” she said.

Matale said the law should be there to give guidelines to the media on how far it can go when publishing pictures.

She said Zambians did not want to see such pictures because those things happen in closed doors which are nightclubs.

Matale said publishing pictures of indecently and offensively dressed women was demeaning anddisrespectful to women and appealed to government to find means of stopping the publication of such offending pictures.

She said publishing nude pictures was not only morally corrosive not only to the young generation, but was also a recipe for social vices such as sexual abuse, defilement and rape which have not shown signs of reducing.

Chief Government spokesperson Mwansa Kapeya last week challenged media houses to exercise high ethical and professional standards by preserving the norms and values of society in their reporting.

He said government was listening to the concerns being raised by the general public over pictures of scantily dressed nightclub female patrons, which have become a common feature in most weekend editions of some sections of the print media.

Kapeya, who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said media practitioners should be reminded that Press freedom is not a blank cheque for them to do as they wish without due regard for the social and moral sensitivities of society.“As a matter of fact, media freedom, like all other freedoms, is not absolute. It is equip-distant to responsibility. The more freedom the media has, the more responsibility it should equally have in exercising that freedom for the good and benefit of society,” he said.