Apologise to Prime TV, ZIIMA challenges Mwila

By Staff Reporter

 

THE Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) has strongly condemned the psychological harassment, humiliation and embarrassment caused by the ruling Patriotic Front secretary general Davies Mwila at a media briefing to Prime TV journalists.

 

In a statement yesterday ZIIMA president Jajah Coulibaly said Mwila told reporters to leave in full view of labour minister Joyce Nonde and Fisheries and Livestock minister Kampamba Mulenga saying the station did not air most of their stories despite their reporters being present at most of their assignments.

 

Coulibaly said as a media body run by seasoned and practicing journalists reminded Mwila that reporters were not the ones that choose what was aired on TV or what was published in the papers but a responsibility of editors.

 

“The two journalists were lucky that the briefing was not attended by party cadres, knowing political party cadres, they would have pounced on the innocent reporters, listening to how Mr Mwila condemned Prime TV for not covering them and told them to always stay away from PF party functions. Looking at history, no past secretary general has ever embarrassed and humiliated a journalist at that office from the time Mr Sata founded Patriotic Front, a sign that Mr Mwila is an enemy to free media, an objective that ZIIMA holds close to its heart,” said Coulibaly

 

He has since demanded that Mwila apologises to the two journalists and engage

Prime TV editors who are gatekeepers of what is aired and resolve the matter officially.

 

“We also wish to urge Mwila that in the future he should address his grievances against journalists to their employers and not subject them to public humiliation. As ZIIMA we believe in the power of dialogue to resolve matters in a free and fair democratic society and will not condone any ill treatment aimed at innocent journalists when politicians and media owners engage in unethical crossfire,” he said

 

Meanwhile, journalist Osward Yambani II has reminded Mwila that several people had passed through the PF secretariat including those protested against using coffins around town while others saved for few hours.

 

“I do not know if you would leave that office with a promotion or you will join the list of those who have left unceremoniously. Whatever it is, we will be there to cover you just like we have covered those that were insulting us, those that have planned ill against us and those that think Journalists are mere elements you can use like condoms,” said Yambani

 

On Saturday, Mwila put up a stunt when he sent away two Prime TV reporter and camera person Njenje Chizu and Toliwe Banda from covering a media briefing.

 

Mwila claimed that Prime television had not been airing the PF activities despite reporters covering the events.