Monday, June 17, 2024

MISA Zambia supports Pilato, calls for the repeal of Defamation of the President Law


MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale
MISA Zambia
Hellen Mwale

MISA Zambia says individuals should not be criminalised for merely expressing themselves.

MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale said Freedom of Expression is a fundamental right to be enjoyed by all citizens regardless of their background and political orientation as provided for under the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which Zambia ratified.

Ms Mwale said this in a statement in Lusaka following the decision by the Zambia Police to summon controversial musician Pilato.

“Freedom of Expression is a hallmark of Democracy as its unfettered enjoyment contributes to functional democracy that encourages citizen participation for good governance and accountability.

Good governance and accountability requires that leaders must be amenable to criticism and would thus need a high level of tolerance,” Ms Mwale said.

She added, ‘ It is for this reason that MISA Zambia has continued to advocate for the repeal or amendment of certain sections of the penal code that impede the enjoyment of freedom of expression.

These include provisions in Section 69 on Defamation of the President, Section 53 on Prohibited Publications, section 60 on Seditious Practices among other laws such as the Public Order Act.”

“These legal provisions have been used on several occasions by government functionaries to suppress dissenting views and there by oppress individuals perceived to be opposed to the party in power,” Ms Mwale.

“We therefore call for these laws to be re-examined to allow for increased citizen participation without fear of unnecessary retribution at any given time. MISA Zambia remains committed to its vision of a region in which members of society, individually or collectively are free to express themselves through any media of their choice without hindrance of any kind.”

She said MISA further believes in a system in which Access to Information is unhindered and must be readily available.


  1. They’re quick to silence the truth. My question to Lungu is why not arrest Mulenga Sata and his buffoon friends for government money spent on buying homes in South Africa? This is broad daylight robbery. PF should be lucky the song did not contain insults and F-words. I’m sure the police have better things to do like arresting PF ministers for stealing government funding. That money stashed away in Hong-Kong banks, why not get it back and arrest Zambians involved. This is what they police is for and not going about looking for a song writer because he wrote about the truth and that the economy is hurting and Zambians are in real trouble because of the leadership involved at the present time. They are borrowing and living beyond their means. They are pocketing money. Truth hurts eh?

    • The Police struggled to find an appropriate charge for Pilato, simply because he did not commit any offense. PF and police must be the most sadistic people, how do you lock an innocent man in the name of Pilato in your smelly dirty cell in the cold? Just to prove that you have power….that is borrowed power. And if we are not careful, these foolish politicians will start ordering doctors on how they should treat us. Can u imagine, you go to hospital with a headache and a call from Statehouse ordering the doctor to amputate your limbs…..sounds crazy but this is what PF is doing to the police

    • Laws are laws,whether good or bad they should be obeyed. Abuse freedom of expression and you lose your freedom. Kikiki,okay ka June kaleposa wrong timing ba Pilato.

    • This morning i was listen to metro fm in south africa what a shame how zambia was portrayed even the presenter was shocked something like that to happen in zambia of all the place on this one Lungu has gone 2 steps backwards and it might cost him some votes like mine unfortunately he will stand against HH again

  2. But any interligent persOn should know this what you have stated Misa! I bet Zambians are far behind when it comes to individual and statutory rights! I mean….. Is that hard to tell how Artists express themselves than political figures or common men? Is this Guy Polato à Zambian John Lenon? Zambia you are bigger than mere politics after all it’s 2015!

  3. Now you are talking Ms Mwale, now you have come to your senses and accepted that Pilato has broken the law. So change the law before you criticize anybody, don’t be misled by Mmembe who thinks that laws are only bad when they do not favor him. For Mmembe all bad laws were good when it was Mr Sata in power, he never ever raised an eyebrow when the Public Order Act was applied but today he is the public protector, what a cockroach of a human being that Mmembe is.

  4. Freedom comes with responsibility. MISA should know this. Opposition for opposition’s sake is nonsense…

  5. Hellen suppose I come and say in public that I slept with you so many times or that you are HIV positive. Would call this freedom of speech? I bet you would sue me without any hesitation. Same with ECL except he is President and the “suing” is done for him by the state

  6. Could people back in Zambia please get real, I am a Zambian living in England and has never heard any musician here sing despicable things about the Premier Minister. There must be a limit to speech freedom

  7. why arrest him when he was saying the truth,he has stood alone when evry one of us we are fearing to stand up and bring to light the bad things this government is doing,leave alone please police go and arrest those criminals who stole 300,000 pa shoprite and shoot 2 innocent pipo instead of wasting those expensive riot gear on an innocent person like pilato,i suport misa the so called defamation laws should change in this poor country of ours.

  8. Musicians (plato) should sing with wisdom. His music is nothing but foolishness. Most people including those defending him know this deep down their hearts. We need to respect our leaders whether in government or opposition. Lets be real….

  9. The guilty are always afraid and always worried of their surroung. Is LUNGU telling me that what pilato sang is the truth about him? if so let the young man be repremanded. If not why waste time over such trivial issues. You never last long if you become too sensitive over certain things.


    avatarImran Phiri – June 8, 2015 at 21:23Report commentComments Policy
    Arresting a man for the song?dictatorship.!
    152 Reply to Imran Phiri | 2 comments(hide)
    Djoeliaas Djoeliaas – June 9, 2015 at 07:19Report commentComments Policy
    In due course they will probably charge him with “Letting out State secrets”. To mention Incompetency of a black man is a serious crime against his a tiny gearbox (manhood).
    Mundus Uys – June 9, 2015 at 11:56Report commentComments Policy
    A self respecting public figure should be able to handle ridicule. Mocking the president, especially one who deserves it, should not be illegal.

  11. Cavatar
    Craig Jenny Mackenzie – June 8, 2015 at 21:28Report commentComments Policy
    I always thought of Zambia as a progressive African state. Sadly wrong again.
    153 Reply to Craig Jenny Mackenzie | 4 comments(hide)
    Zulu Swart – June 8, 2015 at 22:26Report commentComments Policy
    Insulting a president and getting away with it. Is that what progressive means to u? Come on!!!
    John Dick – June 9, 2015 at 01:07Report commentComments Policy
    That is exactly what progressive means. If we get thrown in jail for insulting the president then the president should be thrown in jail if he doesnt do his job that he promised.
    Narian Chengiah Naidoo – June 9, 2015 at 07:52Report commentComments Policy
    Craig Jenny Mackenzie — There is no progress in a country if…

    • avatar
      Craig Jenny Mackenzie – June 9, 2015 at 05:35Report commentComments Policy
      If you believe in what you are saying then best you keep quiet because you are insulting not only your own intelligence but those around you too. Peace comrade
      Bradley Duncan – June 9, 2015 at 06:01Report commentComments Policy
      If you draw a line and limit it, it is no longer freedom but restriction.
      Kelvin Phiri – June 9, 2015 at 00:25Report commentComments Policy
      Why arrest him as if he doesn’t drink he is a serious boozer kkkkkkkkkkk
      41 Reply to Kelvin Phiri
      Herward Swamers – June 9, 2015 at 05:25Report commentComments Policy
      i think the arrest of this musicain for something so minor is so stupid . no other president in this world will arrest a musicain for…

  12. Herward Swamers – June 9, 2015 at 05:25Report commentComments Policy
    i think the arrest of this musicain for something so minor is so stupid . no other president in this world will arrest a musicain for mocking him or her .
    31 Reply to Herward Swamers
    Arthur Watts – June 9, 2015 at 06:38Report commentComments Policy
    Hope Zoomer is not going to do the same one day soon. Let’s hope they never get 66.667% of the votes!!
    32 Reply to Arthur Watts
    Steven Adamson – June 9, 2015 at 08:08Report commentComments Policy
    Probably a CIA spy. What is it with this reverence to a president? He is just another person and nothing special.
    20 Reply to Steven Adamson
    John Smith078 – June 9, 2015 at 09:33Report commentComments Policy
    Ag no man – and I thought Zambia had it…

    • John Smith078 – June 9, 2015 at 09:33Report commentComments Policy
      Ag no man – and I thought Zambia had it all together..
      20 Reply to John Smith078
      Romeo Themba Maseko – June 9, 2015 at 09:55Report commentComments Policy
      Good lord we are so lucky we live in SA imagine if you did a Zapiro or the spear picture what will happen to you?

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site -

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading