Lusaka, 22 May, 2020 / 4:45 am (ACI Africa).
Leaders representing various Church groupings in Zambia have, in a collective statement, “strongly condemned” the violation of press freedom in their country following multiple incidents when those at the helm of the main opposition party have been barred from scheduled radio programs or their programs disrupted midway.
In their May 19 statement, the Church leaders under their umbrella body, the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG), make particular reference to three incidents over the past days.
Between May 13 and May 18, the president of Zambia’s main opposition party, United Party for National Development (UPND), Hakainde Hichilema, was barred from featuring on different radios located in Mpika and Chinsali, North of the Southern Africa country.
“CCMG condemns in the strongest terms the actions of Mpika District Commissioner in instructing Mpika FM not to host a paid for program featuring the United Party for National Development (UPND) President, on 13 May 2020,” CCMG representatives say.
The second and third incidents, the leadership of CCMG highlight, involved “the unauthorized entry of suspected PF cadres into Muchinga Radio studios in Chinsali on 15 May 2020 to disrupt yet another paid for program featuring UPND President via telephone; and the attack on Isoka FM on May 18 during an interview with the UPND President.”