An uncomfortable scenario has emerged in the operations of the media in Zambia. A free and independent Media is the fourth arm of the State and democracy can only thrive when this right is unhinged.
Whatever the underlying reasons, when independent media that offers divergent views and an alternative source of news to those of government owned media are targeted for closure, the very essence of democracy is destroyed.
The closure of Muvi TV and Komboni radio station is uncalled for and undermines freedom of speech and information. The government or aggrieved individuals can seek legal recourse on specific libel or defamation cases without shutting down entire media houses.
Rights, however, come with responsibilities. Our media practitioners, both in the public and private media, need to display utmost professionalism. For instance, the Times of Zambia headline on the 22nd of August was alarmist and tantamount to insight even more political unrest, not withstanding that the situation cited is regrettable and requires national attention.
The pen is mightier than the sword. Through the media, we can win or lose the peace.