The Socialist Party would like to condemn in the strongest terms, the PF and President Edgar Lungu’s vicious and insatiable attacks on independent media workers countrywide. It is a pity that after maliciously forcing thousands of Post Newspaper workers onto the streets, on account of a disputed tax bill, Mr Lungu and his cohorts are now directing their bad energy towards the 40 media workers at the privately-owned Prime TV. The purging of independent-minded media workers did not, therefore, end with the ‘closure’ of The Post. If there is anyone who is still under the illusion that this is just an irrational move targeting a few ‘bad eggs’ within the media fraternity, they have to think again. 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.The Socialist Party’s revolutionary working class cadres countrywide fully understand that these attacks on media workers by Mr Lungu and his friends, are systematic and methodical and they are at the most, ill-intentioned. 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, Cde 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, Mr 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.As the Socialist Party, we view this as nothing but intimidation on the working class by a leadership which has 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.
Issued by Dr Cosmas Musumali, Socialist Party General Secretary/on behalf of the Politburo