Media institute condemns police interrogation of Hot FM manager

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LUSAKA – The Media Institute Southern Africa (MISA), on Wednesday condemned the police for recording a “warn and caution” statement that could mean a possible charge against Lusaka FM Station.

The station’s Manager, Changwe Kabwe has been arrested for allegedly publishing false news about Michael Sata’s health.

This is in connection the news aired on Hot FM Radio Station last May that Sata had been evacuated to for medical treatment after he collapsed.

On Monday, Police in Lusaka questioned Kabwe for allegedly publishing false news contrary to Section 67 the laws Zambia

But MISA’s Zambia Chairperson, Hellen Mwale said her institution was amazed the level intimidation being exhibited by government, using machinery.

Mwale said Kabwe did all he could to the facts on the story in which he called Sata’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, George Chella for clarification.

“We have been reliably informed that Chella, the ’s spokesperson, gave a response to this matter which was played on the station several times.

“Therefore, the station was doing its duty by informing the public of what the correct was, regarding the matter and therefore cannot amount to publication of false news to cause fear and alarm.

“This step by the Zambia Police is uncalled for, as the President was voted for by the people of Zambia have the right to know what is happening to him.

“This should never amount to a crime,”Mwale said.

She called for the immediate scrapping of the “Publication of False News” the laws of Zambia.

“Based on the above reasons, the careless and broad translation of what could constitute publication of false news and how it has become a weapon for intimidating journalists.

“We demand for the repeal of this law in order for the media and the citizens to enjoy their inherent rights to freedom of expression and access to information,” Mwale said.

Kabwe’s lawyer, Marshal Mucheende, said the summoning and pending arrest of client was aimed at intimidating Zambian journalists to stop investigative . (PANA/NAN)