By Daniel Sichinga
The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia chapter Chairperson Helen Mwale has expressed concern over the rising number of attacks on media practitioners.
Ms Mwale was reacting to the attacks of a freelance Journalist Frederick Misebenzi who was injured by police officers for filming the funeral procession of a United Party for National Development (UPND) cadre killed in Kaoma.
She said some overzealous police officers attempted to control the crowd, fired a teargas at short range directly at Mr Misebenzi who sustained a deep wound on his hand and is camera damaged
Ms Mwale said a week ago Journalists from Livingstone and Pasme Radio in Petauke were attacked and harassed by the Council police and unknown assailants.
She has appealed to the Minister of Home Affairs Kampyongo and Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja to act swiftly and avert the attacks on the media.
“As a fourth estate in a democratic society, media plays a key role of information gathering as well as information dissemination. This therefore requires that the media is protected by the police and other security wings in order to enable it carry out its mandate” she said.
Ms Mwale also said that attacking journalists who are carrying out their duty is a violation of media freedom.
She said it impacts their ability to keep citizens well informed about what is transpiring around them.
She has appealed to the Inspector General of Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs to consider refresher courses for some officers in the service to be conducted on the need to preserve and observe human rights.