NGOCC pledges support for Mutinta
By Elly Musonda and Mwape Mbwelela
THE Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council has vowed to support and rally behind Oracle Media director Mutinta Mazoka M’membe, following the brutality she suffered before State House police officers arrested her last Wednesday.
In her words of encouragement to Mutinta, NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale, who visited her at her Rhodes Park home on Monday afternoon, said the women’s movement in the country was saddened by the continued harassment and violation of women’s rights by officers of the law.
“Whenever there is an injustice against any woman, for us it becomes an issue, especially that we are seeking justice. We are seeking space for women to be able to meaningfully contribute at all levels of national development and of course in our work, we have noted that there are fewer women and of course recognising your work in the media fraternity but also as part of the larger women’s movement,” Mwale, who was disappointed with the attacks some individuals, especially women had launched against Mutinta’s family, said.
“We do consider these acts, especially when it impacts on women, as a setback on our agenda and this is why we thought we come and see you so that we get first hand information on what is transpiring so that when we go out there, we project issues of justice.”
She asked Mutinta to stay strong and not take the negative statements on social media to heart.
“As a women movement, we are saying whatever you may be going through, it will just be for one little while compared to what many women out there will have to go through on a daily basis that do not know where to go or seek justice. So we are coming here to hold hands and say we are in full support of your individuality in the whole of this and that there is need for your own rights to be respected,” said Mwale.
“We thank you for your time and we want to just encourage you. We know it is a long process and please keep us informed so we can be able to hold your hand.”
And NGOCC board chairperson Sarah Longwe said she was sad that the space for voicing out grievances in the country was narrowing because of the government’s continued suppression of the media.
“It is sad that the space for voicing out contrary or independent views is narrowing. I think it’s no coincidence that they went for you in the way they went because they were saying that they would deal with two birds with one stone because you are proprietor of a media which they don’t like. But surely, the media can’t please everybody because then the objective is lost. So we need to see that you survive this. She is just doing her job as the fourth estate,” said Longwe.