MISA Zambia has demanded for the Immediate, unconditional release of Fred M’membe, his wife Mutinta and Post Editor Joseph Mwenda.
Misa Zambia chairperson Hellen Mwale said in a statement that the media is alarmed by the arrest of Post Newspaper Editor-in-Chief, Fred M’membe, his wife Mutinta and Post Deputy Managing Editor, Joseph Mwenda for attempting to access their office premises following an ex-parte order staying execution of the Zambia Revenue Authority’s warrant of distress issued on June 21, 2016.
“The arrest of M’membe and his Deputy Managing Editor, who had an ex-parte order is proof that the action by the state is politically motivated and only aimed at crippling the newspaper.
“It is saddening that the Police who are charged with the duty of upholding law and order decided to defy a legitimate order of the court, “ Ms Mwale said.
She said State institutions, including the Zambia Police and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) must not allow themselves to be used to achieve petty political aims but must act in a fair and reasonable manner which is above board.
Ms Mwale said It is clear that the matter is worsening by the day because of the refusal by the ZRA and other institutions to treat the Post Newspaper fairly like they would any other tax payer or media house in Zambia.
She said Misa demand that the paper be treated in a non-discriminatory manner in the interest of a media house’s freedom and continued duty to provide a platform for open debate and exchange of ideas, even those deemed to be critical and dissenting.
Ms Mwale appealed to President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to immediately rise to the occasion and intervene in the matter if he really believes in the freedom of the press and democracy.
Misa also called upon the Inspector General of Police, Kakoma Kanganja and the Police command to immediately and unconditionally release Fred M’membe, his wife Mutinta and the Post Deputy Managing Editor, Joseph Mwenda