Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Director general Josephine Mapoma has called for continued stakeholder collaboration against incidences of harassment and violence against journalists in the country.
Speaking at the closure of a three day workshop in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Mapoma there is need to ensure that perpetrators of violence and harassment against journalists are brought to book.
The IBA Director general advised media owners and institutions should always engage Zambia Police Service whenever they are hosting political exposed persons or high risk programmes.
The workshop was conducted as a consequence of the realization that journalists in Zambia and the world over continue to suffer attacks perpetrated by various individuals and groups especially during elections.
“ On the other hand , lack of professionalism among journalists has sometimes resulted in a backlash and has impaired people’s confidence in the media,” she said.
She re-affirmed that her Authority commitment to promoting the safety of journalists in Zambia , especially as the country enters an electoral cycles where several incidences of violence and harassment of journalists is rife.
“We call upon political parties to stop attacks on journalists who disseminate relevant information to the public, we urge political parties to learn to co-exist with journalist as they need them for their manifestos to reach the masses,”Ms Mapoma said.
This is contained in a statement signed by the four implementing partners namely IBA, MQAZ, MISA and BBC –Action and made available to the media in Lusaka yesterday.
The workshop was held with the support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Democracy Strengthening in Zambia(DSZ)Project.
Among resolutions made during the workshop were that IBA and Electoral Commission of Zambia should work together in ensuring fair coverage of all political parties during elections.
Secondly, it was resolved that political parties, as revenant stakeholders, should engage the media for them to have adequate knowledge about their programmes and activities adding that the Zambia Police Service should apply the law fairly.
140 participants drawn from Civil society Organizations, Electoral Commission of Zambia , Human Rights Commission , Media Organizations , Zambia Police Service , Media owners and chief executives Officers , media bodies , political parties and line ministries attended the workshop.