CATHOLIC Priest Father Kennedy Chola says any dictatorial attempts to silence the private media should be stopped.
And Party for Economic Progress leader Sean Tembo says if Mwila is short-tempered, then the PF must consider reassigning him to a role which does not involve interaction with the public such as Switchboard Operator.
Meanwhile, Fr Chola says the PF should tame its sponsored political parties that are insulting the Church.
On Saturday, chased Prime TV journalist who had gone to cover his announcement that Harry Kalaba had been expelled from the ruling party.
In an extremely contemptuous, angry tone, Mwila accused Prime TV of not covering the PF and asking the two journalists to leave as the ruling party did not need them.
Commenting on Mwila’s humiliation of the journalists, Fr Chola, a media activist, said the PF should learn from past mistakes of fighting the media.
In his reflection over the media harassment of Prime TV journalists by PF secretary general Davis Mwila and the constant attacks on the Church over the dialogue process by some ‘PF’ inclined political parties, Fr Chola said the ruling party should learn from history.
“It is quite shameful that we can have the chief executive officer of a grouping to behave in such a manner. Hon Mwila as a former lawmaker can do better. Hon Mwila should not forget that it is the media that helped the PF form government. This conduct from Hon Mwila is unacceptable, undemocratic and old fashioned. He can do better,” Fr Chola said.
“Such conduct or behavior is what is making people to dislike the PF. It is shameful that we even have people that want to justify that bad behaviour. The media has a role to play. We want to ask Hon Mwila to reflect on his conduct. A good leader will find time to apologise and not remain arrogant. Hon Mwila should work at improving his style of giving out stories.”
Fr Chola said President Edgar Lungu should be more worried having people around him who were showing such contempt for journalists.
He said the PF needs Prime TV just like Prime TV needs the PF.
“…According to the PF structure, Hon Mwila is more senior and should be third from the President. We want to ask President Lungu to sit down Hon Mwila and tell him the importance of the media. Maybe, I’m saying maybe, he does not understand!” he said.
And Fr Chola said he was also saddened that some small groupings had continued to insult the Church over the dialogue process.
“We have seen lately of some individuals, standing together in the name of political parties to insult the Church. We have Mr [Wright] Musoma, a Mr Chanda and brother Dan Pule. These people have constantly insulted the Church for the personal gain. We understand that these people are just sent and given what to say. But please respect the Church leaders (three Church mother bodies). If they have any concerns, there are better ways of speaking than insulting the Church,” he said.
“These are established Church structures which should be respected. We, therefore, want to urge our colleagues to be sober when addressing the Church leaders.”
And Tembo said it was a regrettable matter.
He said as a ruling party, the PF was expected to deal with all citizens in a mature and courteous manner, “even those individuals and groupings that they may not agree with, as the case appears to be with Prime TV”.
Tembo said the emotional actions of Mwila had no place in Zambia.
“If SG Mwila is short-tempered, then the PF must consider reassigning him to a job role which does not involve interaction with the public, such as Switchboard Operator. Otherwise he needs to behave himself and measure his conduct towards others whom he deems less powerful than himself. Those Journalists were totally innocent and they did not deserve that harassment,” said Tembo.