"TPA and TV Zimbo should reaffirm their commitment to press freedom and pluralism, refraining from behavior that violates these constitutional principles, leaving any complaints and afflictions to the courts, not exercising private justice in the form of retaliation," reads a statement released this Tuesday, headlined 'Press freedom, law and common sense'.
The decision by TPA and TV Zimbo was announced on Monday, in the prime time of the two state-run television stations, with the respective anchors announcing the decision of the administrations of the two media to abandon the coverage of activities promoted by UNITA, not to interview its leaders or other officials or activists and demanding a retraction and public apology from the party leadership.
"The recent events resulting from the demonstration promoted by the UNITA party last Saturday, in which television elements were allegedly prevented from doing their work and assaulted, should be faced from an institutional perspective and with common sense, distinguishing the various plans," says CEDESA.
For this research institution on various issues in Angola, "from the point of view of personal and criminal responsibility, it is up to the eventual victims and their employers to trigger the legal mechanisms at their disposal with a view to compensation for damages and possible punishments," through the courts.
On another level, the institutional, common sense should prevail, they argue: "On the one hand, the party that organized the demonstration, confirming what happened, should apologize to the victims and their employers, guaranteeing that in the future it will ensure the free exercise of freedom of the press in its activities".
On Saturday, during a march called by UNITA, which brought together in Luanda thousands of militants, sympathizers and supporters of this and other political forces, as well as members of civil society, in favor of fair and free elections, journalists of public channels were the target of intimidation and threats.
The MPLA, the ruling party in Angola for 45 years, on Monday called on the judiciary to hold to account those responsible for the "barbaric act" that put at risk the physical integrity and dignity of information professionals.
Angola has general elections scheduled for 2022 and is already experiencing a pre-election period marked by growing tensions between the ruling MPLA party and UNITA, which has joined other political forces of the Angolan opposition in a United Democratic Front to win the electoral dispute.