The UPND has bemoaned the continued media intimidation by ruling PF Deputy Spokesperson Frank Bwalya.
Responding to Mr Bwalya’s statement that he is determined to stop all UPND campaign adverts were the ruling party is mentioned UPND Secretary General Stephen Katuta said Zambia is a democracy and that as such all political parties have the right to access media and air their views.
He said Bwalya’s instruction to radio stations to stop the UPND jingles was an affront on democracy.
“Bwalya also appears to have forgotten that part of the role of opposition parties in a democracy is to monitor and evaluate the performance of the sitting government, holding them to account where they fail to deliver on their promises to the people.
“This comes after Minister Kambwili put pressure on UNZA radio to cancel a scheduled appearance on the station by UPND presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema last week. It also comes as we face continued resistance from ZNBC to some of our adverts, including the campaign song ‘Bello’ for its reference to corruption. What sort of society are we living in if we’re not even allowed to discuss corruption? How can we even hope to tackle corruption if such comments are subject to censorship by those in power?
“In sum we would advise Frank Bwalya that it is more appropriate for us as UPND to be engaging the ECZ on such matters, as it is such attempts to cancel scheduled appearances and pressurise stations to stop playing our adverts that is violating the terms of the Electoral Code of Conduct,” he said.
Mr Bwalya has said that he will make sure that all the UPND campaign adverts that have PF mentioned in them are removed from radio stations.
He said the PF are not mentioning the UPND but telling the people what they have done in the five years they have been in power in their campaign jingles.
He added that the UPND should not base their campaigns maligning the PF.