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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

SILENCE IN COURT! – The Case of Media in Zambia

Columns SILENCE IN COURT! - The Case of Media in Zambia

ZICTA officials switching off Komboni transmitters at Indeco House last night
ZICTA officials switching off Komboni transmitters at Indeco House last night

By David Kapoma

Zambia is slowly becoming a court room. We all must be careful when we speak out on issues of national interest. Those who transmit our views to the nation and the general public are the target at the moment.

This reminds me of what happened to Zimbabwe when President Mugabe took over power from the colonial masters. He chased all the whites and slowly started frustrating all the media houses that spoke against him. By now we all know what has come of Zimbabwe. Mugabe was the exact opposite of what Mandela was. After 27 years in prison, Mandela became president and embraced those who put him in prison. Even when the blacks in South Africa demanded to chase all the whites in protest to what they went through, Mandela realised that he needed them. He was being a leader and had the interest of the people at heart.

Levy Mwanawasa (MHSRP) was called all sorts of names especially by the post newspaper but he never closed down the tabloid. He was tolerant and told those who called him names to continue doing so. Many times he did mention that as long as he was president people would call him names.

We have since entered a different period in Zambia. Here it’s no mercy. You mess up with the authority, you face the consequences. Life teachers us that when we start something in life we must think of where we are headed. The closing down of media in Zambia started with the post newspaper and now Muvi Tv, Komboni Radio and Radio Itezhi Tezhi. These actions must be leading us somewhere and this is what we must be interested to know as Citizens. This is not happening by accident but very well planned by those executing.
The question we need to ask ourselves is when will all this stop? Everything that starts must come to an end.

IBA was very wrong in closing down Muvi TV in the manner they did. I want to believe that there are other ways of dealing with offenders rather than giving them what I consider to be the maximum punishment. Muvi TV is one of the best private Media institutions in Zambia which has an African footprint that as a country we must be proud of.

At a time like this in our country we need to allow divergent views from the media. Silencing the media will not solve any of the problems we face as a country. It must be well known that the closure of Muvi TV is purely because of the stance the station has taken which is perceived to be anti-government. This is politics and those holding political power must tell the IBA to rescind their decision immediately to serve their face.
We are not going to continue with this kind of mediocre kind of actions by selfish individuals who only want their voices to be heard. Zambia is bigger than the few individuals that want to control the voices of the masses.

The current regime must be ready to embrace democracy. Could this be what the president meant at a rally in Kabwe when he said “I can sacrifice democracy for the sake of peace”. Can we really give up on our democracy in a so cheap and easy way?

Yesterday you closed post newspaper, today you have closed Muvi TV, Komboni radio and Itezhi Tezhi radio station. Who will you close tomorrow? Is this the case of hunting or what? Can we hear more voices speak and the media respected and given the independence to operate in a free environment. Where does the actions of those in power today leave the country? Do we even care about what the international community are now thinking about our country?

Lastly I want to remind the PF leadership that the same media they are abusing today they will need them in future. This is just the nature of life. They may look useless today but tomorrow they will have the power to decide your fate. Can the IBA tell us why they have picked on Muvi TV leaving the times of Zambia, Daily Mall and ZNBC. We must begin demanding for truth, fairness, honesty and integrity in our dealing.

Zambia is a democratic state. Don’t tell us to keep quiet as if we are in court… SILENCE IN COURT!

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  1. The Constitution is clear, visionless Lungu should just peacefully hand over the instruments of power to the speaker, Dr Matibini.
    PF empty tins of visionless Lungu are wasting everyone’s time, what is PF of Lungu scared if at all they “won” the elections “genuinely”?
    Its Lungu who signed the amended constitution and must respect it. Common Lungu, democracy can’t be forced, neither be stolen.

    • The PF with the economically visionless Edgar, as they insinuate that they genuinely won the election, why scared of facing the rules of accountability for the ineptitude electoral system engrossed by vote disparities and misconduct in dealing with fraudulent of sabotage exhibited by PF as a party?
      The stability of the economy doesn’t care about who won and lost, but its survival. Lungu should as the constitution stipulates, let the rule of law of the Con-Con decide conclusively who the actual winner is and move forward. Life is not about PF or UPND but economically sound humanity.

    • Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1963–1994)
      Banda, one of Africa’s greatest dictator, he led Malawi from 1961 till 1994. Banda lost effective control of Malawi during his absence from Malawi in 1993 when he was flown to South Africa for an emergency brain surgery. Bakili Muluzi, his former political protégé, became president in 1994, after the general elections Banda had earlier postponed was conducted in 1994.

      Years in power: 31 years

      Highs: He was fought against colonialism and led of Nyasaland (now Malawi) to independence as Malawi in 1964.

      Lows: His reign left Malawi as one of the World’s poorest country. One in three children under five died of starvation, he regularly tortured and murdered political opponents. Human rights groups estimate that at least 6,000 people were killed,…

    • I have a question to our leaders and I will keep asking this until I get a very clear and practical answer. Actually, I have three questions and sub-questions to the said;

      1. Why was Northern Province split into two to form Muchinga Province? Was it done in Public interest or purely a political maneuver? What economical and social benefit did this move contribute to the Country?
      2. Why was Chirundu and surrounding areas detached from Southern Province and included under Lusaka Province? Was it done in Public interest or purely a political maneuver? Was it done to weaken Southern Province or what?
      3. Why was Itezi-Tezi and all surrounding areas removed from Southern Province and later attached to Central Province? Was it done to chop off a chunk of economic benefits from Southern…

    • contd…
      Was it done to chop off a chunk of economic benefits from Southern Province?

      We need to debate on all these issues and even challenge what PF (Sata) did by making such moves. I have more questions coming, but for now, lets answer these ones. If the answer or reason for these moves are unclear, then I suggest that Muchinga Province gets dissolved and put back to Northern Province. To me, the moves was done to weaken the Bemba Paramount Chief.

      Same thing, Ithezi-Thezi and Chirundu, Kafue Gorge and those areas must be taken back to Southern Province. Enough of the nonsense.

    • contd…
      Same thing happened in Kaunda era;
      Sugar cane was grown in Southern Province but the refinery was done in Ndola

      Same thing in the case of copper mining; Copper is being mined in North West (Solwezi), however, the processing is done in the Copperbelt. We need to rectify these issues. Let the debates begin.

      Thanks for attempting to answer. However, you answer falls short. Of course I know that answer to my questions but I want people to open their eyes and not be taken for granted anymore. What congestion is there in Chirundu and Ithezi-Thezi to be removed from Southern Province, or in Northern Province. I want people with tangible, practical answers to comment on this.

    • Iwe Kapoma, calling someone names and inciting violence in the country are two different things…even under Levy authorities would not have tolerated such….

    • Embezzlement, misuse of public funds, suppressing political opponents are some of the sins of one of Africa’s dictators.

    • Intelligent, have you ever come across the term decentralization? in my opinion, the move to split provinces and districts is a good move in decentralizing the country for easy management and quick decision making. The larger population of Zambia is clustered along the line of rail(MU TOWN). This is why sanitation is far fetched because people are settling just anywhere. Creation of new districts will lead to depopulating the line of rails and make idle land productive/useful.

  2. Lungu repeatedly warned that he was going to sacrifice democracy for peace. Now we see the closure of media houses . Interestingly , in 2011 MUVI TV and Post Newspapers gave unlimited coverage to the PF on their way up, now that their are up their dont need them anymore. This is what happens when a party is hijacked by strangers. They dont know where the party came from and little by little they destroy its foundation.

  3. Ba Kakoma,
    Have you read the Post Editorials Since Lungu’s ascendency in 2015? Almost all of them have been personal attacks on Lungu. Mmembe has this running diatribe which in my opinion, is not news, not reporting, not journalism but plain character assassination. We are not at the developmental trajectory where this can be tolerated. We are not America or South Africa and responsible journalism should enhance the developmental agenda and not merely be criticism for its sake. I can assure you very few developing countries tolerate such utter gutter press. You will notice that Mmembe has on the other hand curtailed readers right to comment on Post editorials and articles. Where is the balance in this? He runs his paper on dictatorial principles. Sure what is good for the goose should…

    • if you are not America or South then why do you even in the least try to copy principles of governance from the West…. and you even proudly say we have ‘commonwealth law’ …. Why and what are you afraid of? How will corruption and Malpractices in government be exposed? With All his faults and they maybe many … Mmembe through the Post has helped expose alot of nonsense in Governments … so where does it say a media business has to be run democratically ?? 🙁

  4. I have just read paragraph one which said Bob chased all the whites from Zimbabwe and stopped. I realized the rest of the story is all lies and propaganda meant to twist the people’s mind’s.
    I ‘ll just say Bob never chased a white settler upon resuming power. The case with media in Zambia is different. We have private media publishing lies like post which wrote a story about foreigners on voter’s registers. Move tv was no exception in trading lies which is against the ethics they signed when obtaining the licence. Private media means a company whose business is not supported by tax payers money. That’s why a comparison with znbc which is funded by tax money is different. You can’t compare an Apple with a potato. Znbc is not regulated by iba and it can never be closed because it’s…

  5. Once again may I be allowed to clarify something as I’ve seen people dragging the names of daily mail, and times of Zambia in this whole saga. IBA is responsible for BROADCASTING stations as that’s what the B there stands for. So if you have issues with print media (newspapers, magazines etc ) please lodge them to the right/appropriate regulators. ZAMEC, MLC and MISA are a good start.

  6. Visionless,
    Lungu cannot hand over the instruments of because most judges from the constitutional court are friends of Mutembo Nchito, Mmembe, HH etc and they have evil plans to dribble Lungu so that they take over Government. The judge who reversed Mutembo Ncito’s dismissal is actually Ncito’s best friend. Lungu is extra intelligent, you just hate him Guys and believe me your ending will be very bad. its a pity that even the attorney General is supporting the your free manson. We know all these satanic tricks. When the constitutional court quashes out the useless pertition, we are going to relieve kalaluka off his duties for playing double standards

  7. Media freedom is not a bottomless pit, each government has to determine how much baggage they can take . Most private medias make views into news and report fiction as facts, needless to say that profit overrides any sense of responsibility on the impact left on the listener with the illiterates incapable of separating propaganda from reality they simply will take action based on what they hear.

    • Lee Habaponta you are very right, illiterates will always take opinions by media houses for truth. Most Asian countries control media houses restricting it to just what will benefit the nation. In Zambia negativity is what has taken center stage in most media houses. Lets allow meaningful debates that will benefit the nation than pushing agendas to propagate ourselves in the spotlight.

  8. it breaks my heart to see and read people actually supporting the slow but steady killing of freedom of speech by the pf regime in this country! are you people for really??? i think bu cadre should end somewhere and start caring about this country NOT a presidential candidate! they are just as human as you and me and nothing more! Country first….for once use your heads….I know that is not something synonymous with cadres coz they just support blindly but try…please try….our democracy is dying a slow painful death! what legacy are we going to leave for the young ones……..let us fight for Zambia if for the first time!

    • @muliye chuula.
      We don’t want to leave a legacy of freedom of expression which left the country devastated because we wanted a few pen pushers to make kings for us nonono. The post or muvi never voted in 2011. They just gave the public information which they were seeing and believed. People then made decisions based on that information and chose who they wanted.
      But giving false information to make people choose what the media wants is not part of press freedom. The press this time is telling people the opposite of what they are seeing which is not correct.

  9. Do you still think the happenings against The Post Newspaper are because of the talking rubbish against ECL?
    I think if that can be the case,it can be only be proven if and only when they pay what the Revenue collector alleges to be owed,so we can not totally blame ECL on that,and this in itself constitutes the problem with media bodies in most places,namely,telling untruths that are not verified even as some of the broadcasters were being unprofessional,by reading as news,what was unresearched and unproven…

  10. Freedom of speach does not mean alarming the national security or brin in tension among citizens f that is what a simple private mediaisdoing hammer it with its regulatories that it signed when being formed.

  11. Africa is still not ready for self governance. Our decisions are still made based on non issues. We don’t see where we are coming from, where we are and where we should going. Unfortunately, even some of our educated citizens chose not to be part of the solution. People, we need to reflect on what we have been doing in this country since 1964. Having potential is not enough, we need action and real change of mindset.

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