Journalists alongside lawyers will have to be accredited to be part of the proceedings that have drawn widespread interest.
According to the restrictions put by the judiciary journalists will not be allowed to use mobile phones, Ipads, tablets, cameras, and other communication devices.
Proceedings for the treason charge will open on Monday in the Supreme Court of Zambia.
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has already run with the suggestions without putting as much of a fight.
Below is the apologetic statement from MISA:
11th August 2017
To all Media Houses and all interested journalists
REF: ACCREDITATION WITH THE JUDICIARY TO COVER AND REPORT ON THE TREASON CASE HEARING OF THE UPND LEADER HAKAINDE HICHILEMA AND OTHERS
In view of the Treason case hearing of the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and others, the judiciary has decided to accredit journalists from Media houses who are interested in covering the court session on Monday.
Consequently, MISA ZAMBIA yesterday wrote and delivered a letter to the Acting Chief Registrar (copy of which Secretariat can provide if need be) to allow journalists unimpeded access to the court session on Monday, and also to allow them use mobile phones, Ipads, tablets, cameras, and other communication devices.
You may recall that in the letter by the Judiciary Acting Chief Registrar addressed to the Lawyers of both the state and the defense in the above case, the judiciary banned them from using the communication tools which MISA ZAMBIA feels impliedly will also consequentially disarm journalists from efficiently and professionally cover the event.
This morning, MISA ZAMBIA made a follow up with the chief Registrar who referred all matters to his Deputy to deal with accreditation. However, MISA Zambia has noticed that most journalists, especially may not be aware of the ongoing process which will decide who enters the premises on Monday to cover the case.
MISA Zambia has further been informed that those who got their accreditation yesterday have to go back to the Judiciary so that they can be re-registered as cards obtained yesterday lack bar codes necessary for the scrutiny before accessing the court.
MISA ZAMBIA therefore advises journalists and media houses interested in covering the above case to act as follow without delay before close of day today:
1. Obtain Letters from employer indicating names of reporters to cover the case;
2. Interested reporters with such letter must without delay go to the High Court for accreditation failure to which they will not allowed to cover the event on Monday.
MISA Zambia further wishes to inform you that we are still engaging the Judiciary should there be any further challenges in the process of accreditation.