Posted by: africanpressorganization | 31 August 2009

Zambia / The State Accuses Independent Newspaper For Contempt of Court

 

 


 

 

Zambia / The State Accuses Independent Newspaper For Contempt of Court

 

 

LUSAKA, Zambia, August 31, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Zambia government filed an appeal on 28 August 2009 calling the court to charge  The Post newspaper with contempt of court. This follows an article published in the newspaper regarding the ongoing trial of  Chansa Kabwela, the newspapers news editor. Prosecutor Frank Mumbuna made the appeal before the start of Kabwela’s ongoing trial.

 

“There is an application your worship bordering on repeated comments by The Post even when its clear by the record before the honourable court that a similar concern was actually raised before this court. We note, as the state, with serious disappointment for The Post, in this case the editor, that despite this warning, The Post has continued violating, not only the law of the land but warning given by the court”, said Mumbuna.

 

He referred the court to an article published in The Post edition of 27 August 2009 in which, Muna Ndulo, a United States’ University of Cornell Professor of Law, described Chansa Kabwela’s “pornography case” as a “Comedy of Errors.” Mumbuna said the author stated that the case should be brought to a speedy resolution and end the pain felt by Zambians, as they endured unnecessary court process. He stated that according to the author, the case has tarnished Zambia’s name abroad. Mumbuna added, The Post editor had the right not to publish professor Ndulo’s article, especially that the court had given directives to the editor and the newspaper to avoid commenting on matters before the court.  The court reserved ruling on this matter and Kabwela’s case to 31 August 2009.

 

Background

 

Kabwela is been charged with one count of circulating obscene material or things tending to corrupt public morals contrary to section 177(b) of the Penal Code of the law of Zambia. She has pleaded not guilty to the charge. The charge reads that between 1 and 10 June 2009, Kabwela, circulated two obscene photographs which the state says violated public morals. The sent pictures were of a mother ,in labour and without medical assistance. MISA-Zambia and other media Bodies have called for the withdrawal of charges against Kabwela stating that her case was based on archaic laws that could not clearly define obscenity.

 

SOURCE 

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)


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