Africa 2.9.2016 02:50 pm

US disappointed by Zambian post-elections media crackdown

Zambia's ruling party Patriotic Front president-elect Edgar Lungu's supporters celebrate after the announcement of Lungu as the Presidential race winner on August 15, 2016 in Lusaka.  / AFP / DAWOOD SALIM

Zambia's ruling party Patriotic Front president-elect Edgar Lungu's supporters celebrate after the announcement of Lungu as the Presidential race winner on August 15, 2016 in Lusaka. / AFP / DAWOOD SALIM

The US State Department says it’s concerned about the country’s broadcasting regulator’s decision to suspend three broadcasting licences.

The United States has expressed disappointment in a crackdown on media freedom in Zambia following the August 11 general elections.

In a Friday press release, the US State Department added the media constraints had been accompanied by politically-motivated violence.

“We are especially concerned about the Independent Broadcaster Association’s August 22 suspension of three broadcasting licenses, which is a continuation of a troubling pre-electoral trend of restrictions on independent media voices and freedom of peaceful assembly,” read the press release.

“Zambia’s proud democratic traditions are not enhanced by such restrictions, nor will they help the country to unite and move forward.

“At a time when Zambia’s judicial authorities are carrying out their constitutional duties to rule on a challenge to the election results, we call on political actors to meet and seek reconciliation in a display of leadership,” added the state department.

“The United States remains Zambia’s single largest bilateral donor and is committed to the country’s economic and political development.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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