ACTIONAID Zambia Country Director Nalucha Ziba says she is disappointed by the way the new administration is handling the media.
Recently, police recorded a warn and caution statement against KBN TV station manager Petty Chanda for allegedly destroying evidence with regards to a leaked telephone conversation between two senior government officials.
Commenting on this in an interview, Ziba observed that the media was being intimidated so that they could be discouraged from carrying out investigative journalism.
“Our take as ActionAid Zambia is that we are getting concerned and worried with the constant summoning of media personal and owners over the so called leaked audio. I believe as much as there are media ethics and freedoms, we should never forget the underlying fact that the role of the media is to inform and educate. Therefore, the role of law enforcement agencies is to investigate on whether the so called leaked audios are fake or they are authentic. Therefore, as an institution, we are quite disappointed with the way the new administration is handling issues to do with media freedom in this country,” said Ziba.
“We are seeing the media being pushed into intimidation so that they are not able to carry out issues to do with investigative stories and follow through with most issues that have to do with those holding power. We believe that our constitution provides the fundamental rights of equality before the law, therefore, our understanding is that the media should be given space to operate so that they are able to inform the citizenry in terms of what is happening and what is going on and in relation to our country’s development agenda but also the governance discussions.”
Last week Tuesday, KBN TV televised an audio in which Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary for administration Josephs Akafumba and Special Assistant to the President for Politics Levy Ngoma were heard plotting how to handle some leadership wrangles in the Democratic Party.