STOP LUNGU FROM DESTROYING THE POST NEWSPAPERThe Zambian government under President Lungu is turning out to be the most repressive in the country’s 52-year post independence history. This is in addition to the unprecedented high levels of corruption the country is experiencing.

President Lungu has specifically launched a ferocious campaign to shut down the country’s only independent and widely read newspaper.

He has on several occasions explicitly threatened to shut down The Post Newspaper as well harm its Editor in Chief, Fred M’membe.

To all those who believe in humanity, in Zambia, in the freedom of the press and in justice, you can contribute by informing the global community about the fate of The Post Newspaper and possibly help to stop Lungu from destroying the paper.Tweet and use the #StopLungu hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.

Let the world and the regiem hear that the Zambian people will not idly stand by while their freedoms are taken away!

These threats are real and disturbing. An orchestrated government campaign against the newspaper was initiated early this year. Then followed the severance of all government business transactions with the newspaper. Government ministries and agencies were directed to terminate subscriptions to the paper, not to advertise in the paper and never to use the paper’s courier services. However, this did not seem to have had the desired economic impact on the newspaper. Neither did it succeed in changing the papers editorial policy and critical reporting stance. The newspaper continued to expose the rampant corruption and criticise President Lungu’s autocratic rule.

President Lungu then turned to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to come up with taxation demands meant to cripple the newspaper. ZRA quickly moved in and closed the newspaper offices in June. Despite a court order that was issued against ZRA to reopen the Newspaper, President Lungu has continued to ignore this court ruling to the shock and dismay of the entire judiciary system. He has increasingly become the law in himself – the written law and court judgments have no consequences anymore.

During this period, there was an incident of a shooting directed at the editorial office of the newspaper, Fred M’membe was also arrested and later released, several newspaper reporters have regularly been harassed by the police and Lungu’s Patritic Front party supporters, the offices of the newspaper in Kitwe town were petrol-bombed, etc. It has been a period of crude state terror meted against the freedom of the press.

More recently, on 2nd November, the government, in conjunction with 5 compromised former employees, initiated a court action that would end up in the liquidation of the newspaper. The newspaper was not and will not be given any chance to defend itself. It is now a question of weeks or days before this newspaper, which has served as a critical voice of the Zambian masses for over 25 years, is fully destroyed. With the iminent end of this newspaper, the Zambian masses will become voiceless. This is what is driving President Lungu’s actions against the newspaper. He wants a Zambia where his dictatorial and corrupt rule will be unchallenged. A Zambia under which the exploited and oppressed masses will remain silent.

This peaceful country will never be the same after this. Zambians are today at the mercy of a dictator who does not respect the written laws. He has no moral restraint. Freedom of the press is being destroyed before our eyes and that of an indifferent global community.

Please if you believe in humanity, in Zambia, in the freedom of the press and in justice, you can contribute by informing the global community about the fate of The Post Newspaper and possibly help to stop Lungu from destroying the paper. Tweet and use the #StopLungu hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.

Let the world and the regiem hear that the Zambian people will not idly stand by while their freedoms are taken away!

 ♯StopLungu FROM DESTROYING THE POST NEWSPAPER

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