fice to say that in 2017 something close
to what transpired in Zambia seemed to
have occurred in the United States of
America as reported by the Washington Examiner. The publication reported
that” an Oregon man who threatened
on social media to kill former President
Barack Obama and shoot FBI agents
was sentenced Friday to 63 months in
federal prison”3.

What started as a
pipe dream for many
in Zambia was finally
achieved in 2017. On
1 October 2017, Zambia switched over from
analogue to digital
broadcasting in most
parts of the country
without any hitch.
During another incident in April, police
stopped a UPND political rally in Kanyama Township in the capital, Lusaka, on
“security” grounds. Although the UPND
had notified the police in advance of
the rally, they unlawfully dispersed the
rally, shooting 20-year-old Stephen Kalipa, one of the protesters. He died later
from gunshot wounds at the hospital. An


So This is Democracy? 2017

investigation was opened, but no one
had been arrested in connection with
the incident by the end of the year. The
police claimed that he died of knife stab
wounds at the hands of an unidentified
On 23 June, police arrested senior
UPND officials on charges of unlawful
assembly alleging that they held a press
briefing at the UPND’s secretariat offices
without obtaining prior authorisation.
On 24 August, police dispersed a prayer
meeting convened to welcome Hakainde Hichilema’s release from Mukobeko
Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe –
the city where he had been held for four
months on charges of treason.
On 29 September, police arrested six
human rights defenders who gathered
outside Parliament and protested peacefully against the government’s purchase
of 42 fire engines, at a cost of US$42
million. The cost was being protested
because it was strongly suspected of
being inflated. The protesters who were
beaten during the protest by members of
the ruling Patriotic Front were charged
with refusing to obey police orders.

Policy and Statutory Framework
The media in Zambia operates under the
auspices of the Ministry of Information
and Broadcasting Services and is also
guided by occasional policy pronouncements and/or changes under existing
legislation or statutory instruments.
During the year, there was a proposal
to amend a provision in both, the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act and
Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Acts. The amendment was passed
by Parliament during its sitting in the
fourth quarter of 2018 and subsequently

Select target paragraph3