PF Steps Up Attacks On Journalist

The ruling Patriotic Front government of Zambia is increasing its repression of selected journalists with threats of violence, frivolous legal cases, and harassment.

The documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist Chanda Chimba III is reportedly being subjected to renewed intense pressure, including the tapping of his phones, hacking of emails, and even possible violence, a source close to the security wings tells Zambia Reports.

President Michael Sata’s “personal thug” Judge Ngoma, who is also head of State House security, has been instructed to “personally sort out Chanda Chimba III,” the source says.

Judge Ngoma has previously been jailed for a brutal assault that was caught on video, but President Sata immediately ordered his release from jail after being elected.

Mr Chimba has already been targeted with a legal case relating to his television series Stand Up For Zambia, which his supporters say is politically motivated. He is charged with two counts of publishing a newsletter without a license.

“The reason they are sending Ngoma to brutalize him is because the legal case is failing for lack of evidence,” the source says.

“The plot is being pushed by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba, Post Editor Fred M’membe, and six other individuals from a special division with the Office of the President (OP) with the full knowledge of President Sata. Chanda Chimba’s calls and emails are tapped, and all his movements are being monitored by state security, along with a list of other independent journalists believed to write for Zambian Watchdog or Zambia Reports. His life is in danger.”

Under the Patriotic Front government, the environment for freedom of the press has significantly deteriorated according to international monitors, with numerous cases of arrests, threats, and harassment of journalists.

Source : Zambia Reports

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