Zambia: 'Govt'll Not Tolerate Harassment of Scribes'

GOVERNMENT will not condone harassment of journalists during political campaigns for the forthcoming Livingstone Central and Mpongwe parliamentary by-elections.

Chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni said in an interview yesterday that journalists must be allowed to operate freely and should not be subjected to any form of harassment when covering political campaigns.

"Violence of any kind is not welcome and journalists must be allowed to operate freely while they are in the field covering political campaigns," he said.

Mr Sakeni who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister said police should ensure the safety of journalists covering campaigns regardless of whether they were from public or private media.

He urged journalists to remain professional in the process of covering the campaigns.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set February 28, this month as poling day for both the Livingstone Central and Mpongwe parliamentary by-elections.

Candidates contesting the Mpongwe seat are, Gabriel Namulambe of the PF, MMD's Miniver Mutesa, UPND's Rabson Chilufya, Kenny Kuveya of UNIP and NAREP's Reagan Ndhlovu.

The Livingstone Central seat is being contested by PF's Lawrence Evans, MMD's Fred Siasuntwe, UPND's Regina Musokotwane, UNIP's Green Mwanang'ombe and Angela Ikabongo from the Revolutionary Community Party (RCP).

The Mpongwe parliamentary seat fell vacant when Mr Namulambe resigned from the MMD to join the ruling PF while the Livingstone seat fell vacant after the resignation of Howard Sikwela from the UPND.

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