RENOWNED musician Brian Bwembya popularly known as B-Flow says the timing of outspoken photographer Chellah Tukuta’s arrest is wrong because a lot of young people are beginning to make their voices heard on many governance issues.
And B-Flow has observed that freedom of expression and press freedom are shrinking to the point of almost dying in Zambia.
Commenting on Tukuta’s arrest in an interview, B-Flow urged the youth not to be intimidated by it.
“If indeed the charges that they have labeled against him are true, their timing is not good because of the current happenings. Youths are speaking out, youths are making plans to see what actions they can take to ensure that their voices are heard and during a period like this to arrest a person who has been vocal about these issues then it means that it will be misinterpreted by a lot of people. A lot of people are saying that the main issue that he has been arrested for is really not the things he has been charged with but because he has been speaking out. It is quite disturbing,” B-Flow said.
“Youths should never be scared! The more they see people who speak out on these issues getting arrested, getting framed or like my situation the truth was spinned, the youths should gather more confidence and use that as their motivation to stand for themselves. If people that you consider to be your leaders are being shaken around and you don’t want to take the leadership role yourself, then the movement is likely to crumble. Everybody should take it upon themselves and assume a leadership role,”
And B-Flow said freedom of expression was shrinking in Zambia.
“In my opinion, freedom of expression in Zambia as well as press freedom are shrinking. Right now, they are almost dead. We have seen senior government officials threatening us because we are using our voices. Cadres are also threatening us, they are being backed by their leaders,” said B-Flow.
Yesterday, police announced that Tukuta would be charged with four counts of criminal libel.
“Police in Lusaka have arrested Chella Tukuta for Criminal Libel. This is in connection with some derogatory remarks alleged to have been produced and posted on social media by the accused person against Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Dora Siliya, Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General(ZRA), Kingsley Chanda, Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Charles Sipanje and Former Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, Amos Chanda. The accused person is in police custody yet to be charged with four counts of Criminal Libel. He is also expected to face more charges on the Copperbelt,” stated police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo.