AFRICA/ZAMBIA - "Go and vote, despite the inappropriate conduct by Public Media" urges a Bishop

Thursday, 4 August 2016 bishops   elections   media  

Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - "As Zambia goes to the poll on the 11th August, 2016 (feast of St. Clare of Assisi, ed.), we seek St. Clare’s intercession especially for those who are involved in various forms of media", says His Exc. Mgr. Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, OMI, Bishop of Mongu in a letter to the faithful, the text of which was sent to Agenzia Fides.
The Bishop said that "Zambia votes aware of how Zambians have allowed the Public Media ZNBC, Times of Zambia, Daily Mail, ZANIS, NAIS (state-owned, ed.) to destroy the public media ethics and have decided to always speak for the party in power".
"The way the Public Media has behaved seems to have left the Electoral Commission of Zambia powerless knowing that the hand of government is in both institutions. The behavior of the Public Media has given birth to some online media that have become mouth pieces for the opposition political parties. With all these election media challenges, the Electoral Commission of Zambia should after this year’s elections revise its Electoral Code of Conduct in as far as it relates to the media", continues Mgr. Chinyemba.
The Bishop of Mongu concluded by inviting the faithful to pray for peace in the Country and to go to the polls to vote. "Arm yourselves not with a party panga, but with your NRC and voter’s Card. Your vote and not violence is what will be count at the end of the day. As you line up to vote, remember the millions of Zambians who are not able to vote because they are under-age. If you put your selfishness before the future of those not yet able to vote, you shall be held responsible", the Bishop concluded.
The Episcopal Conference of Zambia had already denounced the violence that characterized the election campaign (see Fides 01/06/2016) as well as the xenophobic attitude of the population towards asylum seekers in the Country (see Fides 29/04/2016). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/08/2016)