AFRICA/ZAMBIA - Suspended the licences of three private broadcasters of the opposition after the re-election of outgoing President

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 elections   media   bishops  

Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - Zambia's broadcasting regulator suspended the licences of three private broadcasters linked to the opposition, saying they had posed a risk to peace and stability during this month's presidential and parliamentary elections on August 11, narrowly won by outgoing President Edgar Lungu.
His opponent Hakainde Hichilema has filed court papers to challenge the result, claiming the vote was rigged.
Muvi TV, the nation's largest private television station, Komboni Radio and Radio Itezhi Tezhi had before, during and after the election conducted themselves in an "unprofessional manner, the Independent Broadcasting Authority said in a
statement and before the vote Mgr. Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, OMI, Bishop of Mongu had denounced the media controlled by the State for having carried out a campaign in favor of the ruling party (see Fides 04/08/2016).
In their pastoral letter on the elections, the local Bishops had urged all citizens of Zambia "to understand that voting is one of their fundamental rights and duties. It is also a Christian duty. We pray that every citizen votes in a spirit of honesty, avoiding bribes and deception. Finally, we pray that all voters and leaders of political party have in their heart, the necessary passion and commitment to build peace and avoid all forms of violence".
Zambia, whose main source of income are the exports of copper and manganese, is going through a severe economic crisis due to the fall in commodity prices, which resulted in the closure of mines, a rise in unemployment and in the price of food. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/08/2016)