Free Press Initiative (FPI) Zambia founder Joan Chirwa says the organization hopes to play a part in calling for safe spaces for women, youth and journalists as Zambia heads to the polls on August 12, 2021.
Speaking in Chipata where the FPI is conducting a three-day workshop for journalists, women and youth on their involvement in the forthcoming general elections with support from The Carter Centre, Ms Chirwa said the organization will do whatever is within their mandate to help create space for women and youth who are marginalized during elections and journalists that have for many years been victims of political violence.
She cited a recent case involving Breeze FM reporter Grace Lungu who was assaulted by a PF cadre during a local government by-election in Chipata as one of the many instances when journalists have come under attack in the course of duty.
And facilitator Mr Francis Ziba said the media is expected to serve as a promoter of peace and conflict resolution.
He said this can be done by assuming editorial positions that seek positivity and not negativity and sensationalism.
Mr Ziba said the electoral process is a defining feature of Zambia’s democracy.
Mr Ziba urged journalists to provide a voice for women and youth political participants.