By ANDREW MUKOMA
FREE Press Initiative (FPI) Zambia and North West Press Club have condemned the opposition UPND cadres for attacking on Ikelenge ZANIS journalist Victor Mwila.
The two organisations are saddened by the violent attack on an innocent individual who was merely doing his job.
FPI founder Joan Chirwa observed that the attack on Mr Mwila by the UPND cadres during their fracas with Patriotic Front (PF) in Ikeleng’i District must be condemned by all meaningful Zambians.
“It is sad to note that the cadres did not only beat up Mr Mwila whie he was on on duty but they even grabbed the government camera, his mobile phone and money amounting to K1,000 from him.
“This is very unfortunate as it comes barely days after political parties signed a peace pact against political violence on each other, including other stakeholders like the media,” she said.
Ms Chirwa observed that the media is a very important stakeholder and has a task of informing the nation on events before, during and after the August 12 general elections.
“Therefore, we cannot begin to have intimidation in whatever form on journalists from political players as this would erode the role entrusted to the media by citizens,” she said.
She commended the Zambia Police Service in Ikelenge district for the quick action of arresting the perpetrators of violence.
And North West Press Club president Anthony Tapa has appealed to all political parties to desist from venting their rivalries and anger on innocent journalists.
Mr Tapa said that political parties should understand that journalists are not politicians like them but professionals that have the responsibility of informing the public on various issues of concern in the community.
He said that the attack on Mr Mwila has sent bad signal to journalists not only in North Western Province but also to the country at large.
“Such acts may bring about fear in our operations. We therefore call on political party leaders to tame their cadres and educate them that journalists are not their rivals and that they need to allow the media to operate freely without intimidation,” he