July 4, 2016
In recent days the people of Zambia are being victimized by a direct attack by the government of Edgar Lungu to their freedom of expression. This fact goes hand in hand with threats made by Lungu against the Daily Post.
During the afternoon of June 21, the tax collection authority in Zambia, under instructions from the President of the country, came to the newspaper’s office with armed police and immediately demanded that the newspaper pay a total of US $ 6.1 billion held for back taxes. The newspaper staff was immediately removed from the offices, the printing press was turned off and all offices were closed. The aim now is to eliminate all operating assets for final dismantling.
The latest attack by the Zambian government on the daily Post was held on June 27 when the Court of Revenue demanded that the newspaper be reopened but the government defied the order. This was followed by the police going to the home of Editor Fred M’membe, and severely beating his wife Mutinta Mazoka and News Editor Joseph Mwenda.
Following the closure of the newspaper, there has been an outcry among opposition political parties in the country, civil society and the general public in Zambia. Even the US government, the United Nations and the European Union has issued statements protesting forced closure of the Daily Post.
Without the Daily Post the country has lost its voice of even minimal critical reporting during the current campaign of the general and presidential elections to be held on August 11.
President Lungu has effectively silenced the only platform that the people of Zambia had at their disposal to expose corruption and other malpractices at election time, thus closing the last remnants of freedom in the media of Zambia.
The undersigned organizations affirm our condemnation of the anti-democratic actions of the present government of Zambia. We raise our voices to express our outrage and we stand in solidarity with the people of Zambia and all of Africa. There can be no toleration of authoritarian political factions such as Edgar Lungu. Today more than ever it is vital to unite with the oppressed of the world to build a model society that guarantees freedom, life and dignity of all peoples.
We will becollecting signatures until July 8 to accompany the claim of the people of Zambia to add your name go to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Resumen Latinoamericano