Muvi TV station manager Costa Mwansa has been accused of facilitating the arrest of gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona when he featured on a live TV show Sunday night.
Mwansa is the host of the Assignment, a current affairs talk show on Muvi TV on which Kasonkomona featured and strongly advocated for the respect of gay rights in Zambia.
Human Rights campaigners investigating the arrest of Kasonkomona have now revealed that Mwansa was constantly in touch with Police officers from Woodlands Police before and after Kasonkomona’s arrest.
The campaigners now plan to officially complain to Muvi TV management over the conduct of Mwansa following Kasonkomona’s arrest.
“We have conducted independent investigations into this matter and we are disappointed with Costa. We have information that he phoned the CIO at Woodlands Police hours before Paul arrived at Muvi TV and assured the officer that he will have Paul ready for them (arrest) after the interview,” the campaigners who opted to remain unidentified said.
“Even after the programme, Costa again phoned the CIO and assured him that even if Muvi TV security was tight, he will ensure that Paul is apprehended. It is very unfortunate and unprofessional for Costa to behave in such a manner,” they said.
They said Kasonkomona had demanded a verbal guarantee for his security from Mwansa before agreeing to feature on the Assignment.
“He phoned Woodlands Police and informed them of the vehicle Paul had attempted to use to flee the TV station which was sealed at the time. Costa told the officer to target the backseat of a green RAV 4, of all the vehicles that exited Muvi TV that evening, the officers just came straight to the backseat of the Rav 4 and picked Paul up.”
“It is very sad that after guaranteeing security, Costa decided to go back on his word, the campaigners said.”
Meanwhile, Kasonkomona has sued the state through the Attorney General for alleged unlawful detention.
Through his lawyers, SNB legal practitioners, Kasonkomona is claiming damages saying he is suffering false imprisonment.
He is also demanding damages for mental distress and injury.
In his statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court dated 10 April 2013, Kasonkomona claims police have been delaying to give him his tuberculosis and anti-retro viral drugs ARVs.
He says this puts his life at risk as it is against his medication timetable.
And Kasonkomona was this afternoon due to appear before the Lusaka Magistrate Court to take plea and make bail application.