The Patriotic Front on the Copperbelt wants the Irish aid to reconsider funding the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambian chapter because it has abandoned its role of promoting media freedom.
PF Copperbelt Provincial Youth Secretary Kabwe Chanda accused MISA of operating under political influence.
He said Zambians were curious that the Zambian chapter had conspicuously remained quiet on the assault of Muvi TV journalist by Mr William Banda but pointed out that the media body was quick to condemn police when UPND cadres were tear gassed after they stormed a police station.
“MISA Zambia’s anti-PF stance is very well documented. Prior to last year’s elections, this Organisation chose to ignore PF’s concerns about the abuse of the public media by the MMD, but when PF barred ZNBC from covering it’s national conference because of such concerns, MISA Zambia was quick to condemn the PF.
“Furthermore, there was no time when MISA Zambia said anything over the defamatory documentaries by Chanda Chimba iii against President Michael Sata, and their own fellow journalists such as Mr. Fred M’membe.
“Whoever is funding MISA Zambia must by now realize that they are funding a façade for a political establishment which is fighting the PF government to achieve aims that have nothing to do with media freedom,” Chanda said.
He said there was no doubt, in its current form and leadership that MISA Zambia lacks the necessary credibility to support meaningful media reforms in this country.
“In fact, these donors especially Irish aid should take an interest in knowing how their funds are utilized at MISA Zambia and reconsider their partnership with this organisation because the people ofIreland will not be happy to let their taxpayers’ money fund questionable causes or go to waste.
“It is public knowledge that for a long time several annual audit reports have revealed serious financial mismanagement in MISA Zambia. I challenge MISA Zambia to come out clean on the above concerns,” said Chanda.