MISA CONDEMNS POLICE HARASSMENT OF CHINGOLA SCRIBE
Written by Millennium on August 17, 2019
NOEL IYOMBWA writes
MEDIA Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) has condemned the harassment and subsequent arrest of Chingola’s Rise FM Radio presenter Derrick Chilufya by police on August 12.
This was after more than 60 job seekers who were promised employment which was not given to them by a company known as Mox Minerals Limited went to the radio station to express their grievances.
In a statement Issued by MISA chairperson Hellen Mwale she explained that Police officers went to check on what was happening at the radio station where they started beating the job seekers.
In the process they spotted Chilufya answering a phone call as he was coming out of the studio and suspected that he was taking a video of what was happening.
“We view this harassment of Chilufya by police officers who are expected to protect him but who rather with impunity turned around to harass him as an exhibition of clear unprofessionalism and unrestrained impunity which must be checked,
“MISA Zambia would like to remind the police that they are the law enforcers and as such they should aim at protecting and provide law and order to the people in Zambia and not harass them,” Ms Mwale said
Ms Mwale said Journalists deserved protection and space to carry out their work in an environment free of intimidation, harassment or any form of harm.
She said police should work to create an environment which promotes mutual cooperation rather than resort to confrontation and therefore abusing freedom of expression and the media adding that It was the statutory obligation of the police to ensure that Zambians and journalists enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms.
Ms Mwale advised the Zambia Police Service to act in a professional manner and not contribute to the erosion of the little faith Zambians still have in the service.
“The police must effectively address concerns like this to prevent a repeat of such violations in future. We urge the police to refrain from acts of human rights violations in their enforcement of restrictions provided for the enjoyment of such rights.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental right to all Zambia as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, regional and international Instruments to which Zambia is a party of. The media is a public good which serves all kinds of people,” she said
Ms Mwale reiterated that it was the duty of the media to inform the public on issues that affected their welfare and should not be victimized for performing their duty.
She said that democratic tenets dictated that there should be guarantee of media freedom with deliberate moves to ensure media diversity, pluralism and independence both editorially and operationally.
Ms Mwale further explained that media practitioners must be held accountable for their actions if in conflict with the law but it must be done in a fair manner.