Zambia: Bloggers Protest Watchdog, Zambia Reports Blocking
A sizeable group of people calling themselves Zambian bloggers yesterday converged at the Freedom Statute in Lusaka to protest the blocking of two critical website - Zambian Watchdog and Zambia Report - from domestic access in the country.
The Patriotic Front government has hired Chinese and Russian squads to block websites writing on events in Zambia and exposing corruption of President Michael Sata and his family.
Since early June, the PF has attempted to close the Zambian Watchdog and on Thursday extended its attack to Zambia Reports, a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from international organisations such at Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders.
Both organisations have offered various forms of support including provision for mirror website under the Reporters Without Borders portal. In Lusaka, the bloggers who were dressed in black to also commemorate Black Friday demanded that President Michael Sata respects the right to free speech.
The bloggers also called on the Zambian government to stop the harassment of journalists that were arrested. The journalists linked to the Watchdog, Clayson Hamasaka, Thomas Zymabo and Wilson Mpondamali are being persecuted.
Mpondamali is still behind bars four days after his arrest while Hamasaka and Zyambo are charged with sedition.
The bloggers dispersed after an hour of their procession following word that PF cadres organised by the militia group had organised themselves and were heading to the area to create confusion like what was experienced at BIGOCA.