MISA condemns the harassment of two MUVI TV journalists

Filed under: Statements |

thThe Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has condemned the harassment of two MUVI TV journalists Bruce Mwale and Njenje Chizu in Kabangwe on Wednesday last week by overzealous Police officers who briefly detained them.

In a statement released to the media, MISA said that it was saddening to see senior police officers who are supposed to enforce law and order at the forefront of stifling the practice of journalism in a democratic country like Zambia.

Below is the full statement

PRESS STATEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lusaka, March 30, 2015-The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has condemned
the harassment of two MUVI TV journalists Bruce Mwale and Njenje Chizu in Kabangwe on
Wednesday last week by overzealous Police officers who briefly detained them.

It is saddening to see senior police officers who are supposed to enforce law and order at the
forefront of stifling the practice of journalism in a democratic country like Zambia.

It must be stated that journalists are not under any obligation to notify Police whenever they go
about their news gathering duties as claimed by the Police in Kabangwe on Wednesday.

In keeping with media ethics and tenets of good journalism, a reporter is expected to gather their
facts accurately and ensure that their story is a fair representation of the facts gathered. This,
therefore, entails that a journalist is free to gather information from various sources of their choice.
The continued practice of confiscation or attempts to confiscate memory cards and other
equipment from journalists by security agencies should be out rightly condemned as it amounts to
censorship, which is unacceptable.

According to a statement obtained from one of the Journalists, the officers had intentions of
confiscating the memory card in the camera used to film the residents.

MISA Zambia is calling on the Police High Command to ensure its officers conduct themselves in
a Professional manner that complements the enjoyment of fundamental freedoms usually
facilitated by the practice of journalism as a mirror of society.

The Police should actually protect journalists in the face of any harassment as witnessed before
from political party cadres and other perpetrators.

Arbitrary application of legal provisions to satisfy certain sectors or individuals in society should
not be tolerated as it undermines the administration of justice.

MISA Zambia will therefore investigate the matter further to ensure such a situation is not
repeated. We urge the two journalists to remain resolute in their work and continue with their
responsibility to the public, as agents of the fourth estate.

Issued By:
Hellen Mwale,
Chairperson-MISA Zambia Chapter