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US government condemns Post Newspapers closure

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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Post closed 1The US government has expressed deep concern at the timing of the closure of The Post Newspaper by the Zambian Revenue Authority, only weeks before important elections in Zambia.

According to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Lusaka today, the closure of The Post is the loss of an independent voice during the campaign period and election cycle.

The United States Government urges the Zambian Government to work with the Zambian Revenue Authority and The Post to find a way forward that allows The Post to reopen immediately.

The US says the free flow of information to the Zambian people is an essential element of a free, fair, credible and peaceful election.

And the Human Rights Commission is appealing to the Government to reconsider the decision to close down the Post Newspapers and avoid throwing hundreds of workers into unemployment thereby adversely affecting the welfare of their families.

Commission Chief of Information, Education and Training Mweelwa Muleya in a statement says while it is a matter of human rights law that the State is entitled to enforce laws as it deems necessary to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions, the Commission is of the view that there should be further room for negotiations to find an amicable solution to meeting the tax obligation of the Post Newspapers without necessarily closing it.

Mr Muleya says the Commission feels there is need to use negotiations, mediation and conciliation methods rather than exclusively using a legalistic approach in this matter.

He states that the Post Newspapers is one of the institutions of good governance involved in promoting and protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms in Zambia, playing a pivotal role in safeguarding and consolidating democracy and development over the last 25 years.

Mr Muleya says the newspaper has particularly been instrumental in promoting the right to freedom of expression of divergent viewpoints, providing checks and balances to various State and Non-State institutions and individuals as well as in promoting transparency and accountability.

Mr Muleya states that it would be a sad chapter in the development of Zambia’s democracy if a drastic action was taken to close the Post Newspapers.

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