By SHERRY CHABALA
THE Zambia Free Press Initiative (FPI) has condemned the alleged assault on a Times of Zambia Journalist, Henry Chunza, by Chienge Member of Parliament Given Katuta.
FPI Founder and Executive Director, Joan Chirwa, said the behaviour by Ms Katuta was regrettable especially that every Member of Parliament is expected to have some level of knowledge about the work of journalists.
“We are really concerned and saddened by the happenings at the National Assembly last week. We were informed of the harassment of Henry Chunza, a Photojournalist from the Times of Zambia by Chienge Independent Member of Parliament, Given Katuta whom we understand was assisted by other MPs to try and assault this journalist.”
“And one of those MPs identified in the police statement was Chawama MP Tasila Lungu. This is very disappointing behaviour coming from MPs who are held in high esteem by the public, and especially electorates that entrusted them with a Hyde responsibility to represent them in the National Assembly,” Ms Chirwa said.
She said the National Assembly was a place that allowed journalists to enter and do their work freely.
Ms Chirwa said the journalists could not have been allowed to do their work if at all it was a place where media personnel were not allowed to have access to.
She said the fact that Ms Katuta was in a place where journalists were allowed to take photos meant that the journalist was supposed to carry out his work without interference.
Ms Chirwa said the nature of the assignment where the MP was told to walk out of the House by the Speaker of the National Assembly is newsworthy for any journalist that has nose for news.
Ms Chirwa reminded MPs to understand the role of journalists and accord them the necessary respect whenever they are doing their work.
This article is supported with the WAN IFRA Women In News (WIN) Social Impact Reporting Initiative (SIRI). Gender equality, diversity and inclusion ( GEDI) Information in this article does not reflect the views of WAN IFRA Women In News.