Information Minister Sakeni defends arrest of Journalists

One of the Two journalists that were arrested early hours of Tuesday is still under Police custody and Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni has dared those challenging the arrest to go to court.

The two Journalists – Clayson Hamasaka and Thomas Zyambo are alleged to be linked to an Online News Publication – Zambian Watchdog, which is perceived to be critical of government. Hamasaka was released on Wednesday and told that investigations would continue while Zyambo had been formally arrested and charged with sedition.

Earlier on Wednesday a media alert posted by Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), stated that the duo were likely to be charged with defamation of President Michael Sata.

Reacting on wide condemnation by various stakeholders, Sakeni said the Police acted within the law by arresting the journalists. He explained on Tuesday, July 10, 2013 that the Police can arrest and hold a suspect while they do their investigations within 48 hours. He said thereafter, the Police is at liberty to charge or release the suspect depending on the investigations.

The Zambian Information Minister said those claiming Police acted outside the law are free to challenge the move in Courts of law by seeking a judicial review.

Police Spokesperson on Tuesday refused to disclose the case under which the journalists were being investigated. Chanda Munganga said disclosing the case will jeopardize the investigations.