Posted by: africanpressorganization | 12 August 2009

Zambia / Information Minister Blames Journalists For Their Own Torture




Zambia / Information Minister Blames Journalists For Their Own Torture



LUSAKA, Zambia, August 12, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Ronnie Shikapwasha on 7 August 2009, accused the media, before parliament, for being the root cause of their own suffering at the hands of party supporters adding that recent violence against journalists was caused by the “media’s irresponsibility”. Instead of defending press freedom as enshrined in the constitution, Shikapwasha accused media houses such as The Post newspaper for attacking and insulting Zambian President, Rupiah Banda, and stressed that many Zambians had voted for Banda and needed him to be respected.


Reacting to the recent incidence in which Movement for Multi Party Democracy (MMD) Youth Chairperson Chris Chalwe (42) was arrested for attacking journalists who went to cover Banda’s arrival from Uganda, Shikapwasha claimed that the public regards the media as a source of conflict, insults, and instability in the country. He said there is need for the Media Ethics Council of Zambia (MECOZ) to monitor the professional conduct of journalists and the media institutions. He added that the lack of such a body would continue to force the public to call for statutory regulation of the media.


“It will be difficult to fend off such demands (call for statutory regulation of media) if the public continue to regard the media as a source of conflict and insults, and a source of instability in the country”. In my statement, I have tried to answer Mr Speaker’s directive, what is the cause of this, unfortunate for me it is the media irresponsibility,” said Shikapwasha.


He said the country was not threatened by the  acts of violence against journalists and added that coverage of isolated incidents of violence against journalists was largely exaggerated and probably intended to give the world the impression that peace was threatened by the acts . He further blamed the church in Zambia for siding with the media saying the church had failed to remain on ‘god’s’ side but continued jostling with who they should put in State House and forgetting their mandate.




MMD party supporters assaulted journalists from state owned Times of Zambia newspaper and The Post, an independent newspaper at Lusaka International Airport on 28 July 2009. The journalists were attacked while awaiting to cover the arrival of President Rupiah Banda who had gone on state visit to Uganda. Reporters, Anthony Mulowa, and Richard Mulonga, from Times of Zambia and Chibabula Silwamba and Collins Phiri from The Post were attacked and forced to leave the airport. MISA-Zambia have called for the arrest of the offenders.



Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)



%d bloggers like this: