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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid