In Zambia, Local Group Accuses DfID of Funding Opposition Political Party

A local pro-government group in Zambia has accused the U.K. Department for International Development of sponsoring the Zambian opposition political party, the Patriotic Front.

The Committee of Citizens claims DfID is using the press freedom committee of a local newspaper, The Post, to finance the campaign activities of the Patriotic Front, the Zambia Daily Mail reports. Gregory Chifire, the executive director of the Committee of Citizens, has urged local authorities to investigate the issue.

Chifire and Isaac Chabwera, of the Bishops Council of Zambia, said May 29 that it is not acceptable for DfID or any foreign donors to finance activities that promote a particular political party, the Lusaka Times reports. Meantime, other local groups, said if DfID wants to support media freedom in Zambia, it should carefully examine the organizations tied to the media outfits it finances.

“If the DfID is funding The Post, it should also know that the newspaper was in partnership with the PF, which has been condemning the work of donor countries and their organizations’ work in Zambia,” Lusaka Times quotes Steve Banda of Public Concern Zambia.

The press freedom committee of The Post was not readily available for comment, according to Daily Mail.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.