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The Media Liaison Committee has called on political players, the police and the general citizens to desist from harassing journalists during the course of their duty.

Media Liaison Committee Chairperson Enock Ngoma said Journalist in Zambia have become endangered species as harassment comes from all angles.

Mr Ngoma urged the media houses and individual journalists to stop the tendency of withdrawing assault and harassment cases reported to the police.

He said withdrawing cases will encourage would be offenders to perpetrate the crimes against journalists.

Mr Ngoma said the Zambian journalist needs protection especially as we approach the 2021 general elections when the media become targets of overzealous politicians and their cadres.

“The MLC remains hopeful that as we join the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against Journalists today, under the auspices of the United Nations, the draft Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) Bill of 2019, currently with the Ministry of Justice for scrutiny, shall be enacted into law before the 2021 elections as it will address some of the measures to ensure protection of the journalist.

“It is unfortunate to learn that in the past 14 years, close to 1, 200 journalists world-wide have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public. And in nine out of 10 of these cases, the killers go unpunished. This is a very sad development hence the need for Zambian journalists to ensure that the due process of the law is followed when aggrieved without resorting to withdrawing of cases,” he said.