By Sharon Kunda-Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Dora Siliya has called on the media to guard against the use of hate speech and divisive language which has potential to plunge the country into chaos.

Ms. Siliya says the media should be in the forefront in promoting peace and unity in the country.

She has further called on journalists to adhere to high ethical and professional standards in their work.

Ms. Siliya says this is particularly crucial during elections, when tempers of political players and their supporters are high.

This was in a speech read on her behalf by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga at a high-level stakeholder forum on the safety of journalists in Zambia.

Ms. Siliya said attacks against the media perpetuates the cycle of violence and the resulting self-censorship deprives society of vital information, necessary for decision-making.

And United Nations -UN- Zambia Resident Coordinator Coumba Mar Gadio said there is need to pause and reflect on the more than 6 hundred journalists who have lost their lives in the last 10 years in the line of duty.

Dr. Gadio noted that when attacks on journalists remain unpunished, people lose confidence in the judicial system that is meant to protect them.

Meanwhile, Independent Broadcasting Authority -IBA- Board Chairperson Mabel Mung’omba said the Authority is concerned about the welfare of its licensees and media practitioners in the country.

Ms. Mung’omba said the high-level stakeholder forum exemplifies IBA’s desire to engage with all its key stakeholders in finding practical solutions aimed at ending attacks on media practitioners.

The high-level stakeholder forum on safety of journalists in Zambia coincides with the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, which serves as a reminder for all countries to promote a safe environment for journalists to carry out their work.

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