News / Africa

Zambia Cracks Down on Harassing Journalists

Zambia's new President Michael Sata, right, takes the oath of office on the steps of the supreme court in Lusaka, September 23, 2011.Zambia's new President Michael Sata, right, takes the oath of office on the steps of the supreme court in Lusaka, September 23, 2011.
x
Zambia's new President Michael Sata, right, takes the oath of office on the steps of the supreme court in Lusaka, September 23, 2011.
Zambia's new President Michael Sata, right, takes the oath of office on the steps of the supreme court in Lusaka, September 23, 2011.
Peter Clottey
Zambia’s government has ordered police to arrest individuals or groups of people who intimidate or harass journalists or prevent them from doing their job.

Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kennedy Sakeni said President Michael Sata’s government wants to make sure journalists are protected following reports that some supporters of political parties have been beating journalists they believe are critical of their party’s leaders.      

Sakeni says the new directive to police is aimed at ensuring that journalists can practice their profession without fear of intimidation or harassment as enshrined in the constitution.

“We don’t want journalists to be harassed by anybody from any political party [because] information to us is very critical to our development,” said Sakeni.

“There are some documented cases where some opposition parties, their cadres and officials have been harassing both public and private media journalists whenever they come across them. As a government, we don’t want any violence against journalists,” he added.

Sakeni said the government issued the directive after journalists petitioned the administration to protect them following reported harassment.

But some opposition parties say the government’s new directive to police is a publicity stunt to gain favorable press coverage and stifle opponents of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party. The government denies the accusation.

Sakeni underscored the importance of the role journalists play in Zambia.

“We should actually make sure that we respect the role of journalists,” he said.

“We must realize that as a developing country, we need information, and without information how do we inform the public about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, the various development programs government is involved in and how do we teach our people new farming methods?”

In April, the Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) said it was disappointed with the government’s decision to “prematurely” retire six prominent journalists at the state-run newspaper, the Times.  The government gave no reason for its decision.

Andrew Sakala, chairman of the press association, said it appears the journalists were retired for allegedly sympathizing with the former ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).  The MMD is now the main opposition party.

But, Sakeni denied the government was behind the retirement of the journalists.

“The media, whether public or private, have their own board and they make decisions on their own. As government, we don’t go into what the various media boards decide on their employees,” said Sakeni.

Clottey interview with Zambia Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni
Clottey interview with Zambia Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More