Take your hands off Prime TV- Musumali tells Lungu
By Staff Reporter
Opposition Socialist Party has condemned ruling Patriotic Front and President Edgar Lungu’s vicious and insatiable attacks on independent media workers countrywide.
In a statement, Socialist Party general secretary and 2021 presidential running mate Dr Cosmas Musumali said it was a pity that after maliciously forcing thousands of Post Newspaper workers onto the streets, on account of a disputed tax bill, President Lungu and his cohorts were now directing their bad energy towards the 40 media workers at the privately-owned Prime TV.
Dr Musumali said it was evident that the purging of independent-minded media workers did not end with the closure of Post Newspapers.
He urged those still under the illusion that such an irrational move targeting media houses thought to be ‘bad eggs’ to rethink.
“These attacks on media workers, who also have to operate within a very narrow press freedom space, confirms what we already know that the PF under Mr Lungu, is a troubled political entity which does not know how it can effectively sweep all its criminal activities committed against the Zambians, under the carpet,” said Dr. Musumali
He said the Socialist Party’s revolutionary working class cadres countrywide fully understood that such attacks on media workers by President Lungu and his friends were not only systematic and methodical but also ill-intentioned.
Dr Musumali added that the Socialist Party’s view was that this was nothing but intimidation on the working class by a leadership which had embarked on a cover up scheme to hide their criminal acts against the Zambian working class majority.
“We are directing the PF to immediately take their hands off Prime TV and any other independent media organisation within the borders of Zambia. The attack on Prime TV, using the provisions of the law, shall be viewed as an act of injustice against one section of the working class, and for the Socialist Party, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere! Leave Prime TV to do their work,” he demanded.
A few weeks ago, two Mongu-based media workers – Derrick Chityamba and Dennis Muyunda – received threats from State security operatives after they aired an interview of the Socialist Party General Secretary, Dr Cosmas Musumali, on two local radio stations.
Furthermore, a Livingstone-based Mast reporter, Edwin Mbulo, received threatening phone calls from a PF provincial leader for merely reporting about events surrounding President Lungu’s recent visit to the tourist capital.
On Tuesday, when UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema, was appearing for questioning at Copperbelt Police Division headquarters in Ndola, police officers violently arrested Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) journalist, Frank Ching’ambu, for purportedly confronting highly-armed police officers and failing to produce a press pass.
On the same day, officers from the Zambia Police served search warrants on Prime TV at their offices in Lusaka. The search, according to news reports, has to do with certain news footage.