A worrying sense of constraint
First it was the Post, closed down by the Zambia Revenue Authority over outstanding tax, even though the public media allegedly owe a lot more. Then it was Muvi TV, Komboni Radio and Itezhi-Tezhi Radio, closed down by the Independent Broadcasting Corporation for behaving in an unspecified “unprofessional manner” during the elections, even though the public media is equally biased. Since then, there have been reports of the authorities rattling the sabre at Prime TV, Kariba Radio and UNZA Radio. In addition, the Bulletin & Record Magazine has closed down, and the Zambian Watchdog has been forced into an underground existence on Facebook. All we are left with are the pro-government media (ZNBC, Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and Daily Nation) – and Zambia Weekly, of course, but our job is becoming increasingly difficult as the anti-government media is clamming up. The few anti-government media houses left hardly dare to open their mouths any longer. There is a growing sense of constraint in the media – and society at large – where everyone seems to be looking over their shoulder before saying anything that could be perceived as negative by government.
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly