Zambia: Banda abhors attacks on scribes

rupiah_banda_2PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has maintained that he does not support the harassment of journalists and that he will continue condemning the perpetrators of the violence.

Speaking to journalists before departure for South Africa, Mr Banda said media professionals should be left to freely do their job without interference.

Mr Banda said that his earlier statement that he did not support violence against the media was downplayed. The president emphasised that his position on the matter had not changed.

I have always condemned perpetrators of violence against journalists because they are just there to do their work and I will maintain that although you media people underplayed my stance, I do not condone the violence against the journalists, Mr Banda said.

He said that since he would be away, he had instructed Vice-President George Kunda to handle the issue of the petition from media bodies.

Media bodies at the weekend announced that they would march to State House to present their petition to President Banda over the harassment of journalists by MMD supporters.

International Fellowship of Christian Churches (IFCC) president, Simon Chihana yesterday advised media bodies not to demonstrate over the continued harassment of journalists but first seek dialogue with the Government.

In an interview, Bishop Chihana said that demonstrations should be the last option after all the avenues had been exhausted.

He said if dialogue failed, it was at that stage that the media bodies could resort to demonstrations.

A round table talk is a must for all stakeholders. Media bodies must be part of the dialogue with the president and some churches leaders for reconciliation purposes, Bishop Chihana said.

Times of Zambia

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