Government and FPI condemn attack on PASME Radio

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The Government has condemned in the strongest terms the attack on PASME FM Radio by some people in Petauke district of Eastern Province last week.

Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda stated that the New Dawn Government takes strong exception to violence against the media in the discharge of their duties, adding that the media is the voice of the people through which they participate in the governance and development of the country.

“An attack on the media is therefore, an attack on the people and on the country’s democracy, it is, therefore, lawless and unacceptable for anyone to attack the media for any reason,” she said

She noted that there are well established channels to complain against a radio or television station that is seen to be unprofessional in its programming and conduct, provided by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

Ms Kasanda who is also the Chief Government Spokesperson disclosed that there is no room, whatsoever, for anyone to take the law into their own hands by attacking a radio or television station for any alleged wrong doing.

She said that the Government, therefore, expects the law to take its course against the perpetrators of this attack on the radio station, as the Government reiterates its stance for safety and freedom of the media in growing the country’s democracy.

Meanwhile, the Free Press Initiative – FPI has described the attack on PASME Radio’s presenter and the station as retrogressive, and pathetic.

The Free Press Initiative – FPI Executive Director Joan Chirwa expressed sadness and strongly condemned attacks on PASME Radio and its presenter Lovemore Phiri while he was presenting a programme.

“We are extremely saddened and angered by the continued attacks on journalists, such behavior is a pathetic, retrogressive and shallow way of handling dissent in a democracy, and nobody expects this kind of barbaric behavior to continue when the highest level of leadership of this country has assured journalists of their safety,” she said

Ms Chirwa disclosed that the behavior of the cadres identified as members of the ruling UPND is a direct slap in the face of President Hakainde Hichilema who has on different fora assured journalists of their safety, adding that President Hichilema has also promised respect for press freedom and freedom of expression. But alas, cadres aligned to his party seem unbothered by his pronouncements to an extent that they saw it fit to attack an unarmed and defenseless journalist.

“Mr Phiri is still undergoing medical examination for the severe beatings inflicted on him for merely carrying out his job, we expect swift action from police and the leadership of the UPND in Petauke district and at national level to ensure perpetrators of the vice are brought to book and prosecuted in line with our country’s laws,” she stated

Ms Chirwa has since called on Mr Phiri to stand firm and ignore any attempts there may be to talk him into withdrawing this matter from the Police.

Brief facts of the matter are that, early morning on Friday, Mr Phiri, who is also a reporter, was presenting a programme that discussed the 2022/2023 farming season and the farmers’ preparedness.

Before the Programme could end, alleged UPND cadres stormed PASME’s on-air studio where Mr Phiri was and, in the process, damaged studio equipment, causing the radio station to go off-air.

And Around 08:00 hours, another group of cadres returned with a view to attack Mr Phiri, and upon seeing their vehicle, Mr Phiri sneaked out of the radio station for his own safety but the cadres gave chase and caught him in the nearby neighborhood where they assaulted him and threatened to kill him. He was rescued by members of the community.

9 COMMENTS

  1. UPND vuvuzelas where are you on this matter after condemning PF you’re also going back to the same vomit

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  2. It’s not enough just to comdemn we also need to see arrests and jail time. If police are still waiting for instructions or permission then they also need to be retired and replaced with professionals.

  3. The police know what to do. HH doesn’t even have to say a word, not even Jack Mwiimbu the Minister of Home Affairs.

  4. UPND needs to arrest the criminals and make an example of them. We do not need this sort of lawlessness in our country. I wonder how many of these so-called UPND members were formerly in PF and are now in UPND thinking they can continue to impugn the law as before

  5. “by some people in Petauke district of Eastern Province” Imweeee!
    Its ” by UPND cadres in Petauke district of Eastern Province”

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