By Daniel Tonga
Casual dressing Journalists face ban
Lusaka, Zambia 24 Feb 2012 – The Zambian government has threatened that it will not allow but ban all journalists from covering functions at President Michael Sata’s state house if their dressing did not show signs of improvement.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry of information Amos Malupenga said it was disappointing to see how journalists covering state house dressed which according to him did not suit the official occasions taking place especially at State house.
‘I was shocked to you see journalists dressed in the manner we have complained, we cannot just be talking about it so we are going to put up a system and all journalists who are not going to be properly dressed will not be allowed to cover state house and state functions,’Malunpenga said this in an interview with journalists.
Most journalists both female and male assigned by their employers to cover state house functions have been dressing causally mostly in jeans which seems not befitting functions like swearing-in ceremonies of respected government officials which have become prominent at state house.
And speaking in an interview one Zambian journalist who declined to be named said there was no way the government could dictate what journalists should put on or not at any function that they have been assigned to by their employers.
‘They can only advice not to dictate on how i should dress, it is totally the responsibility of my employers and myself to decide how i should dress not an outsider,’ said a journalist working for one of Zambia’s private newspapers who wondered of what business it was for government.
The threat to ban journalists to report on state at state house because of their dressings is the first in Zambia’s media history issued from a high office in Zambia which according to many journalists seems to interfere with their right to dress how they want and like.
In Zambia there is no law that allows barring journalists from covering state house function or any other social functions due to perceived improper dressing but some media organizations have set their own dress codes whilst some do not restrict journalists from dressing the way they see fit.