LUSAKA, SEPTEMBER 2, 2016(CISA) – Christian leaders from various denominations have warned the government against harassing the media.
In a statement signed by the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) and major Christian leaders in Zambia, the church leaders cautioned the state against closing down some privately owned radio stations.
“We are deeply saddened and alarmed by the Government’s muzzling, harassing and persecution of the private media,” said a joint statement of the main Christian denominations in Zambia.
The leaders appealed to the Head of State to revoke the right to close down private radio stations, and to media operators, to always comply with professional ethics and avoid hate speech.
Zambia’s broadcasting regulator Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) on August 23 suspended the licenses of Muvi TV—Zambia’s largest private television station—Komboni Radio, and Radio Itezhi Tezhi sating that they had behaved in an “unprofessional manner” before, during and after elections held on August 11.
The church leaders however welcomed the peaceful conduct of the presidential and parliamentary elections of August 11, but expressed that they “are very dismayed and concerned” over the “tension and wanton violence that greeted the announcement of the election results.”
The leaders also expressed concern regarding the presence of party militias and threats made by members of the ruling party against the Constitutional Court.