Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Edgar Lungu, President of Zambia has expressed concern over the recent attacks on Lusaka based Prime Television.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, has condemned the continuous attacks on Prime TV and urged the political parties and authorities in the Zambia to stop targeting journalists for their reporting. PPF also called on the media regulator Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), to stop supporting the political parties.
According to the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX), the Patriotic Front (PF) party attacked the privately owned Prime Television for its reporting on the Sesheke parliamentary by-elections.
On January 26, 2019, Davies Mwila, the Secretary General of PF party sacked the reporters of Prime TV from his press conference and announced publicly that the station is barred from covering the happenings of his party.
The remarks of Mwila provoked the supporters of party against the journalists working with Prime TV.
In different incidents, a group of youngsters supposed to be the supporters of OF party attacked three reporters of Prime TV.
On February 14, 2019, the group attacked Wells Chifunda who is a court reporter for Prime TV. In another incident, on February 8, assaulted Lyold Kapusa, a reporter for Prime TV also seized his laptop. On February 5, the group also attacked another reporter of the station, Kazela Habwanda.
Several politicians were also seen encouraging these attacks publicly antagonizing the station in their statements.
On February 15, IBA sent a letter to the Prime TV requesting the station’s editorial policy and broadcast recordings of its political shows, News Bulletin and Oxygen of Democracy Programme. The request was made after a complaint by the Secretary General of the PF who accused the channel of unfair and unethical coverage in the mentioned political news bulletin.
Again on February 28, the regulator summoned the management of the station and demanded that the channel should apologize to the Secretary General of the PF party within 14 days for alleged biased reporting on the party.