JUNE 15, 2005
Posted: June 24, 2005
Supporters of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) attacked and harassed vendors working for the independent daily The Post, Zambia’s leading newspaper. The assailants also seized copies of the paper.
According to local sources, the attacks were in reprisal for a series of articles in The Post that criticized President Levy Mwanawasa and accused him of sheltering a former official in the Ministry of Health, Kashiwa Bulaya, from criminal prosecution for alleged corruption.
The local chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa reported that MMD operatives appeared on state-owned broadcast media to call for a ban on The Post following the articles’ publication.
On June 17, an MMD spokesman denied allegations that the party had authorized any attack on The Post, and said that the MMD supported press freedom, according to the U.N. news agency IRIN.