Zambia Institute for Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) demands for the unconditional lifting of the suspension of the five affected unionized Times of Zambia journalists based in Ndola.
ZIMA Vice president Jubiel Zulu notes that Times of Zambia workers have gone up to ten months without salaries, a situation that is aggravating poverty among the workers at the government-owned newspaper.
She has expressed that ZIIMA is saddened that the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), the umbrella of all parastatals, has not yet given money to the Times of Zambia for the newspaper to settle its arrears, in spite of empty assurances.
“As ZIIMA, amongst the objectives we have, we will not sit and watch journalists be exploited while claiming their dues; give Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Therefore, we demand for the unconditional lifting of the suspension of the five affected workers”. The ZIIMA Vice president demanded.
She has urged employers to realise that the main cause of bias, unprofessional and unbalanced reporting is due to poor conditions and unpaid salaries to the journalists.
“We further urge employers across the board to think beyond the faces they see every day working, breaking their backs just so that they can disseminate information of which they are denied their rights to receive the money they work for”. She urged.
Ms. Zulu says it is sad that the same little salaries that journalists receive are delayed.
“We call on stakeholders, which include unions, to address this matter and also urge other journalists facing similar challenges to come forward in order to bring sanity in the profession. Remember, a journalist is human before their profession and have needs to attend to”. She noted.
By: Mumba Tailashi