ARREST OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST SYMBOLISES DETERIORATION OF PRESS FREEDOM IN ZAMBIA
The Media Liaison Committee (MLC) is aware of the arrest of Investigative freelance journalist Thomas Allan Zgambo who was picked up by police on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 and detained at Chilenje Police Station. Mr Zgambo has since been charged with seditious practices.
As an umbrella organisation of media bodies in Zambia, we feel the arrest of Mr Zgambo exemplifies how journalists who are critical of the current regime are being treated, harassed, arrested and mostly censored. Journalists must not be punished for informing the public on various ills of public office bearers, instead, government must use the same information to correct things. Journalism is not a crime and every minute a journalist spends behind bars for their legitimate reporting and journalistic work is a violation of media freedom and freedom of expression.
Emphatically, the MLC views Mr Zgambo’s arrest as a concerning indicator of the deteriorating press freedom in Zambia. Journalists should be free to critique the government without fear of harassment or censorship. We demand that Mr Zgambo be immediately taken to court, emphasising that journalism itself is not a crime. Mr Zgambo’s court appearance will give him a better opportunity to defend himself rather than keep him in prolonged detention.