As Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), we wish to express our shock and dismay at the reported plans by the Patriotic Front (PF) in collusion with former president Mr Rupiah Banda to close down the Post Newspaper if elected into office on 20th January 2015.
This is yet another episode in the endless tendency of the PF to stifle media freedoms as they have done the last three years. They have harassed journalists and independent media houses with frivolous law suits and arrests, leading to Zambia being downgraded on media freedom indices worldwide.
We wish to let the PF and Mr Banda know that their purported plans to close down The Post are wishful thinking and shall not succeed because the paper is very robust and has a strong foundation anchored on media freedoms which the MMD introduced in 1991. The Post has survived every assault and attempt to close them down.
What is most surprising about this matter is that the PF was very well covered by The Post in the run up to the 2011 elections and partly owes its electoral win to the paper’s reporting.
We therefore advise the PF to leave this matter alone as their alleged plans will come to nothing. Their actions amount to stirring the hornet’s nest and shall leave them badly bruised.
The New Hope MMD strongly believes in media freedoms and any attempt to close down a media house shall be condemned by us in the strongest terms possible and we shall stand with all those victimized. We have come too far with our media freedoms for us to abandon them because of an undemocratic ruling party.
We urge all media houses being harassed to stand firm and never give up in their quest to report the truth. Once elected, the New Hope MMD shall restore full media freedoms that the PF took away and ensure the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) is truly independent.
MMD ACTING NATIONAL SECRETARY