Former ZANASU Vice President Prince Ndoyi says Zambians should blame themselves for the closure of the the face of the private media in the country, The Post Newspaper.
Mr Ndoyi said the biggest private newspaper in the country died when the paper went to bed with the PF government after it won the 2011 elections and stopped being the voice of the marginalized in society.
He said no one should blame President Lungu but that everyone in the country should take the blame because everyone kept quiet when the paper used its unique privilege in society to disadvantage others during the reign of late President Michael Sata.
“On press freedom and closure of The Post Newspaper we believe we all created this problem, we made The Post Newspaper the face of private media and today we worry about the death of a free press. If we see the closure of The Post as an assault on and death of a free press. Then a free press died when the PF govt appointed people from the Post Newspaper in 2011, the free press died when the post went to bed with govt in 2011, the free Press definitely didn’t die today.
“President Lungu cannot certainly be blamed for The Post Newspaper’s closure but on everyone of us who kept quite when The Post became the only source of credible information, when the Post Newspaper participated in politics. When The Post Newspaper became a political party. The Post Newspaper used their unique privilege in society to speak for the poor and downtrodden, but used it to disadvantage people.
“For three years under the late President Sata MHSRIEP The Post supported everything even wrong decisions, and NGOs were all quite because no one wanted to fall on their wrong side. While everyone saw The Post as that one all too powerful individual, for us we continued to see that behind The Post is those ordinary Zambians, the workers in those departments, that son and daughter whose parents struggled so hard to take to school, those brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, uncles and aunties who survived through that job at The Post Newspaper. Look at how many of those lives will suffer all because of negligence on all of us to act responsibly, and certainly true a free press has nothing to do with none tax remittance,” he said.
Mr Ndoyi however said not all hope was lost as there are a number of private news media that should ensure that they are the voice of the marginalized in the country.
“But not all hope is gone, those we neglected are still there watching, the free press is still here but we don’t want to listen through it. Qfm, Hot FM, Daily Nation, New Vision Newspaper, Prime TV, Radio Mano, Radio Chengelo, Muvi TV, MELLENIUM radio, Lusaka Times, Mwebantu News Media, CBC TV to mention but a few. The watchdogs are still alive.
“It is a timely warning for the private media that in order to enjoy a free press we must act responsibly. We must guard against having an editorial policy that appears to be an extension of a political party’s manifesto and this warning includes the church and civil society,” he said.
He added “Finally we strongly observe that majority of NGOs, Church Mother Bodies and media houses have gone to the dogs, why are they surprised that they have flees all over them, we all slept with an itchy anus, why are we surprised that we have woken up with smelly fingers? We ask everyone to conduct a self introspection for the sake of the voiceless in our country. Let us wake up because indeed everyone’s silence is so loud.”