Zambian editor convicted

2010-06-02 13:50

The editor of the private Post newspaper has been convicted of

contempt of court for running a story on the trial of a journalist accused of

pornography over a picture showing a woman giving birth.

Fred M’membe published a story from a US-based lawyer commenting on

the trial of news editor Chansa Kabwela, who in November last year was cleared

of obscenity charges over an unpublished picture of a woman giving birth in the

street outside a hospital.

Lusaka magistrate David Simusamba convicted him of contempt for

allowing the article to run on August 27 2009, while the trial was under way.

Sentencing was set for Friday.

The photograph was taken during a doctors’ strike and highlighted

the poor state of health care in Zambia.

Although never published, Kabwela sent copies of the picture to

vice president George Kunda and women’s groups, sparking outrage in the


Simusamba said: “The editor-in-chief is responsible for monitoring

the newspaper and in this modern world it’s possible that he can issue

instructions from anywhere and I find the editor-in-chief guilty and I convict

him accordingly.”

M’membe looked composed throughout the proceeding, listening


The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes

lamented the ruling. The group’s executive director, Lee Habasonda, said: “This

is a dark day for the Zambian media but my appeal to them is that they should

not relent but continue working even harder.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.