NAREP president Elias Chipimo says the Law Association of Zambia must be protected because it is an institution which protects democracy.

And Chipimo says high levels of media intolerance by the PF will build resentment.

Featuring on Radio Phoenix’s Let the People Talk programme on Friday, Chipimo LAZ must be protected.

“LAZ has to be protected just like The Post had to be protected, just like the Office of the President also has to be protected not because of the individuals who are there or what they are doing but because they are institutions that protect our democracy,” Chipimo said.

He observed that the current leadership was afraid of an educated population.

“If the politicians that lead our country really want this country to develop they will not be afraid of an educated population. The leadership we have at the moment seems afraid of an educated population; I have not seen anything that can demonstrate that they want to embrace learning, enlightenment, knowledge and understanding. You know even we take just this issue of LAZ, the leadership of this nation should have been the one stepping in and saying ‘do not touch LAZ, I will not support the signing of a bill into law that will create factions, sort your problems out as a board and I am ready to stand by this’,” Chipimo said.

And Chipimo said the high levels of media intolerance by the PF can build resentment.

“Journalists in every situation must be respected and protected but what we have tended to see is, and I think what we are seeing, is a frustration. When you have a situation where the media has been side lined, where propaganda is now dominated by really only one side and that is side that supports or promotes those who happen to be in power, when you have a situation of intolerance on the part of those who wield authority to allow freedom of expression so people are prevented from having or holding rallies and even press conferences, what you build is deep resentment, anger and frustration which can blow over now and impact journalists who may be trying to report objectively,” Chipimo said.

Chipimo said in order to stop the resentment building in people, it would require humility among government leaders.

“So there is high level of intolerance on the part first of all of those who wield power and authority and so if we are going to diffuse this situation, if we are really going to have a system where we are going to protect journalists, not physical protection but just through creating a tolerance society, it’s going to take a lot of humility on the part of those who happen to be in power and it’s going to take them respecting the right of individuals to have different points of view having demonstrating that respect,” said Chipimo.

“It’s going to take in this instance government really saying to themselves we may not like The Post, we may not like these people who say these things against us but we need their voices to be heard. That’s what it will take otherwise all you are building is further resentment and where people feel their frustration cannot be addressed anywhere and there are finding themselves blocked in every avenue that they take its then going to come out in their responses and reactions.”