Africa cases 2004: Country List    I   Africa Regional Home Page
How CPJ investigates and classifies attacks on the press

JANUARY 5, 2004
Posted: May 17, 2004

Roy Clarke, The Post

The Zambian government attempted to expel Clarke, a columnist for the independent daily The Post, and ordered him to leave the country within 24 hours. Home Affairs Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha announced the deportation order on state television, though Clarke said he was never formally served with the order. Clarke went into hiding immediately after the announcement to avoid arrest.

The deportation order stemmed from a column written for The Post‘s January 1 edition by Clarke, a British citizen who has permanent residence in Zambia and has lived there for more than 30 years. In an apparent riff on George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, Clarke depicted the Zambian leadership as animals in a game park. In a thinly veiled reference to President Levy Mwanawasa, Clarke described the one in charge of the park as an elephant named "Muwelewele," or "fool" in the local Nyanja dialect. Other government members were described as baboons, a giraffe, a crocodile, and a snake.

Home Affairs Minister Shikapwasha said Clarke had insulted the president and the Zambian people in his column. Authorities issued an arrest warrant and launched a manhunt for the journalist.

Meanwhile, on the same day, the Lusaka High Court granted a stay against the deportation order pending an appeal in response to a petition from Post lawyer Patrick Matibini. Shikapwasha said, however, that the state would not recognize the High Court order because Clarke’s permanent residence had been revoked.

The High Court upheld Clarke’s status as a permanent resident on January 13, and the journalist came out of hiding the following day.

On April 26, the Lusaka High Court annulled the deportation order against Clarke. Judge Philip Musonda was quoted by the BBC as saying that the deportation order was unconstitutional and "unreasonable."

The Zambian media reported that President Mwanawasa is challenging the High Court ruling in the Supreme Court. According to the state-owned Times of Zambia, the Attorney General’s Office filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court on April 28.

JANUARY 28, 2004
Posted: February 6, 2004

Mackson Wasamunu, Zambia Daily Mail

Police officers assaulted and detained Wasamunu, a photojournalist working for the state-owned Zambia Daily Mail, while he was covering a police operation to clear hawkers from the streets of the capital, Lusaka.

Several officers approached Wasamunu, who was carrying two cameras and a small portable radio, and accused him of taking pictures of them. Although Wasamunu showed the officers his press card, they demanded that he hand over his cameras and film. After the journalist refused, the officers began beating him. One officer used a small club, injuring Wasamunu’s stomach and back. During the struggle, both of the journalist’s cameras fell to the ground and were damaged, Wasamunu said.

The police took Wasamunu to a nearby police station, and then to the Lusaka Central Police Station, where they detained him in a holding cell. There, other detainees assaulted the journalist in an attempt to rob him, Wasamunu told CPJ.

According to Wasamunu, he was released without charge after six hours in detention following the intervention of the Lusaka Division Police commanding officer, who apologized for the journalist’s treatment. Wasamunu received medical attention after his release and has filed a formal complaint with the Inspector General of Police.

DECEMBER 20, 2004
Posted: January 18, 2005

Kangwa Mulenga, Radio Phoenix
Mutuna Chanda, Radio Q-FM
Brighton Phiri, The Post
Eddie Mwanaleza, The Times of Zambia


Police assaulted and detained for several hours four journalists who were covering a demonstration in the capital, Lusaka, to demand a new constitution. The journalists were charged with "conduct likely to lead to breach of the peace," but the charges were later dropped, according to the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and local sources.

Mulenga, of privately-owned Radio Phoenix; Chanda, of the community radio station Radio Q-FM; Phiri, of the private daily The Post, and Mwanaleza, of the government-owned Times of Zambia, were beaten and arrested when they attempted to report on the arrest of demonstrators, according to MISA. Dozens of participants in the protest, which had not been authorized by authorities, were detained by police, Reuters reported.

Mulenga received a deep cut below his right eye, according to CPJ sources. Notebooks and cameras belonging to the journalists were also confiscated.