Association President Njoya Tembo said the rule of law says, “Everyone is innocent until proven guilty”.
Mr Tembo said Times of Zambia, being a national publication with high credibility and having been in business for a long time, should be professional and therefore present facts.
“Unfortunately we find this particular story to lack clarity, leaving us in suspense, and that is our challenge,” he said.
He added, “Online media publications have little or no credibility as most of their stories have been malicious, especially when dealing with musicians – therefore, we have reservations.”
Mr Tembo said there are a number of musicians’ names on social media.
“As we got the news and heard that these musicians were “on the run”, we called them and all of them answered their phones and as usual, they were busy either in the studio, coming from a performance or (one of them was) at home with family,” he said.
“We feel that some evidence in form of a picture or video would be of help, especially since we are in the era of smart phones. It would also help to name which police station(s) has a record of holding the musicians. If the above information is provided and it is proven that indeed the musicians were connected, ZAM would be the first to condemn the musicians.”
He said, “We however condemn the brutal killings and pray for God’s grace to abound with the affected families as we hope that Police would conclude with their investigations soon. We realise that the blanket statement made and the withholding of the 5 artists’ names continues to fuel speculations as many more names continue coming up. This has potential to put at risk the names being suggested and can poison the little strides our music industry has attained so far.”
Mr Tembo said the Association believes that musicians are noble professionals just like lawyers, teachers, soccer players and can greatly succeed with passion and hard work applied, notwithstanding the existence of a few bad eggs.
“And the names on social media have already shown how well they have been doing for themselves. We therefore question the statement “…. rituals were being aimed for fame…” as the mentioned people have already attained fame and their works speak for themselves.”
He has since urged citizens to support the industry and patiently wait for proof to be given (if at all it is there), and the law to take its course – if this will get to that point.