By Staff Writer
The Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) has called on Mazabuka Mayor to stop the harassment of media houses airing stories that doesn’t massage his political interest in Southern province.
President- ZIIMA Jajah Coulibaly said that they have received information that show that Mazabuka Mayor in Southern province has continued to intimidate the media by threatening radio stations with closure for airing stories that do not massage his political interests.
Mr Coulibaly said the same media houses he wants to close today gave him a platform when he was in the opposition.
He has urged media houses to continue giving a platform to various persons from different political backgrounds to promote the free flow of information and allow citizens make informed decisions that will foster sustainable development in Zambia.
Mr Coulibaly said this is not the first time a senior civic leader in the UPND has issued threats against the media, a situation that goes against their party Leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema who has made it clear that journalists and media houses must be left to operate freely.
“Information on our desk suggests that Mr Vincent Lilanda invited the media to his office to dispute allegations leveled against him by a former councilor that he and other persons engaged in corrupt activities where the mayor further challenged anyone with evidence to bring it forward.
Further information suggests that the same former councilor paid for a phone-in radio program on South Power Fm where he presented evidence challenging the mayor with documents and other materials after which the mayor called and issued threats such as closure and blacklisting the radio station from government adverts,” he said.
He said that Mazabuka mayor must understand that the role of the media is to inform the masses that journalists owe allegiance to with balanced and factual news, changing news to suit political leaders will be nothing short of propaganda which has the capacity to mislead citizens.