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Police drop charges against station manager

(MISA/IFEX) - On 26 November 2008, the Zambia Police dropped charges against Radio Icengelo's station manager, Fr. Frank Bwalya, citing security reasons. Bwalya was due to appear at the Kitwe magistrate court on 27 November to answer charges of broadcasting information intended to cause divisions in communities. The police allege this information was broadcast between 1 and 12 November in a post-election radio programme that Bwalya hosted on Radio Icengelo.

Bwalya, who is also a former MISA Zambia chairperson, told "The Post" newspaper that the dropping of the charges was a victory for freedom of expression. He said that the police informed him that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed that the charges be dropped for security reasons.

"They said they have dropped the charges for security reasons. I want to believe that probably they may be referring to what happened when they arrested me, that people protested," Bwalya said.

He said that the dropping of charges against him on the instructions of the DDP was a signal that he was at liberty to express himself in the manner that he did.

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