Independent media harassed

An increase in political tension following President Edgar Lungu’s reelection in 2016 has been used as a pretext for drastically restricting the freedom to inform and gagging the independent press. The authorities closed the most important independent newspaper, The Post, in June 2016 and arrested members of its staff. Several radio and TV stations also had their licences withdrawn. To prosecute journalists, the government either uses financial pretexts such non-payment of taxes in the case of The Post or the various laws regulating defamation and sedition. In 2018, an editor was sentenced to 18 months in prison for contempt of court, several journalists were attacked, especially during by-elections, and ruling party officials threatened to close media outlets for not covering the president “properly.” The government also announced its intention to tax free phone calls on social networks, a facility widely used by Zambia’s journalists and bloggers. The increase in intimidation, attacks and prosecutions fuelled an increase in self-censorship. The promised law on access to information has yet to be adopted.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



113 in 2018

Global score


35.36 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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