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Alba Iulia
Monday, May 10, 2021

Lusaka Business man dismissed from IBA Board for allegedly alarming the nation on COVID-19 numbers

Headlines Lusaka Business man dismissed from IBA Board for allegedly alarming the nation...

Lusaka Businessman and Board Member of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Sipho Phiri has been dismissed from the board of IBA dor allegedly alarming the national by posting a tweet on social media claiming that the figures being released by the Government on COVID-19 are not a true reflection of the reality as no testing was being done.

Mr Phiri, whose Saturday 5th April 2020, the tweet was widely shared by many Zambias, including the opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema who agreed with him., claimed that Zambia has no new COVID-19 cases because it had run out of test kits and was not testing any cases
.
“Don’t be misled by anyone… there are no new cases in Zambia because we haven’t been testing!! Corona is moving.. we just can’t record it.” he tweeted

According to reports, Phiri appeared to have gone against a strong caution by IBA that condemned unethical reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic, where the institution called for objective, fair and responsible reporting on the pandemic.

The report further said that his tweet on testing caused alarm as many tweeter users asked him to provide evidence for such an alarming tweet, especially that he is considered to be a senior member of society and many people reminded Mr. Phiri that the process surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic was being monitored by many international partners and stakeholders and could not be faked or hidden. Other people called for his arrest if he failed to provide evidence and substantiate his wild and alarming claims.

But on Monday evening Mr. Phiri posted a message announcing his own dismissal from the IBA Board.

“Well that must have been the shortest appointment in the history of the Independent Broadcasting Authority!” “Fired after 2 Board meetings..maybe I was a bit TOO INDEPENDENT “ he tweeted. Must say though there are some excellent Board members & great staff at IBA. I wish them all the best.”

The IBA is responsible for regulating the broadcasting industry in Zambia, by ensuring the promotion of a pluralistic, ethical and diverse broadcasting industry.
The functions of the IBA include among others, to grant, renew, suspend and cancel radio and television broadcast licenses.

44 COMMENTS

  1. Not surprising, this guy is a cartel operative. His allegiance and political affiliation is well known. Was trying to discredit GRZ. How unpatriotic!!

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    • When we watch from other countries, we see the medical personnel,we see covid patients been transported in ambulances, we have seen Putin, minsters of health in other countries visiting the centers where these patients are kept, has anyone here seen such publicity here? Even just people that have survived from this disease so that people have the courage and know that this disease can be defeated.

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  2. The best way to deal with such allegations is to prove them wrong, not to punish the expressers of doubt. We all know that our figures remain comparatively low, and that leaves many observers, local or international questioning their accuracy and transparency.

    The only answer is in testing. GRZ should mobilize field workers to be visiting homes in cities, towns and villages to screen people for symptoms.

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  3. @Zambian Citizen, do we need to be told that Edgar Chagwa Lungu is a humble Christian leader? Zambians are not fools, we know who is a humble person and can elucidate authenticity of a christian person. The Bible says it all ‘You shall know them by their fruits’. There is nothing about being patriotic if the truth is denied to citizens. What shall we expect from PF government if it transpires that actually tests were not being carried out on account of lack of testing facilities. Shall Zambians expect PF government to resign? Zambians are not so naive, they know the truth.

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  4. BRAVO DUNGA. DON’T U WORRY MY MAN. YOU,HAVE EVERYTHING BRUH. ANOTHER,DO OPENS JUST TOO SOON. I LOVE YOUR THINKING. BUT,Y ARE THEY NOT FIRING KZ CZ HIM HE HAS COMMITTED THE WORST CRIMES BEYOND ANY HUMAN BEING ON EARTH.

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  5. The best way to deal with such allegations is to first prove them wrong, then punish the expressers of doubt

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  6. Going by what he did i don’t think the guy is a board member material especially for IBA who are supposed to promote responsible reporting

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  7. @Benny Onyango. Spot on! When everyone is trying to fight fake news on COVID-19 online this id!ot goes against what the IBA is trying to do.

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  8. Excellent. I have said many times, let us be careful with the things we say on social media especially spreading fake news. This goes as a warning to the likes of those in diaspora too who come up with some wild accusations on government. Be mindful and don’t say you were not warned. Kz

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  9. But Sipho is right, the truth is Zambia has not tested people we are just lucky we live in a warm country so the virus is not spreading as fast as in the developed cold countries. The UK is recording 900 deaths a day.

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  10. Another Loser that didn’t read his job description and contract well enough to spot a potential disciplinary. Sad. Go well and stop hysteria

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  11. Typical UPND material. They read their disciplinary code of conduct after they have already violated. Remember their MPs asked for time to go and read the constitution when it was very clear the president was going to sign. They were opposing something they did not even read.

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  12. That’s PF govt for you as Foote stated…you can steal, go to court for corruption court cases, interviewed by ACC and nothing will happened by whistle blow and you have a very serious crime.
    Chilufya is cooking the results …no testing does not equate to no cases

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  13. How many scandals have Kaiza committed which deserve firing but he’s still irritating us at State House?

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  14. Tweeter is accessible world wide . Mr phiri has just told the world that the zambian authorities responsible for covid 19 have have not been conducting tests hence the zero cases reports in the past few days.

    This is a very serious matter which requires thorough investigation . Mr phiri could be wrong and could also be right. The onus is on the authorities to proove him wrong with statistics of tests carried out..otherwise the world wont take Dr Chilufya’s reports seriously.

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  15. Folks I want to ask. Who or which labs is/are testing for COVID-19 in Zambia? What are are they testing for? Is it Coronavirus antigens or antibodies against the virion? What is the biochemical, serological or nucleic acid-amplification method? To me these are the questions that the briefing should have addressed. As a scientist I reserve the right to be skeptical about the daily briefings and please let’s be a bit civil. Or is that asking too much?

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  16. The Wuhan doctor who blew the whistle on the virus comes to mind. He has just been honoured for speaking the truth. Why not let this board member provide evidence?

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  17. @Zambian Citizen, do we need to be told that Edgar Chagwa Lungu is a humble Christian leader? Zambians are not fools, we know who is a humble person and can elucidate authenticity of a christian person. The Bible says it all ‘You shall know them by their fruits’. There is nothing about being patriotic if the truth is denied to citizens. What shall we expect from PF government if it transpires that actually tests were not being carried out on account of lack of testing facilities. Shall Zambians expect PF government to resign? Zambians are not so naive, they know the truth.

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  18. The problem is does this misguided Phiri chap ever listen or watch the daily updates or is he implying that the minister is lying? He got what he deserves mambala.

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  19. Those of you who doubt that PF is a fully fledged dictatorship should perhaps be helped to figure that out by this act. They use ZNBC and that Chanda fella for relentless propaganda diet fed to Zambians, they hate independent minds as when they prevented Prof. Lumumba from entering Zambia, they closed Post newspapers, their former vuvuzela paper and now this. You PF sycophants and apologists enjoy this while it lasts. Payback time is surely coming some day soon.

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  20. Does it mean the Covid-19 the same people who are alleged not tested have does not kill like the one in Europe? If government is lying we would have seen a lot of deaths related to respiratory problems. Personally I don’t want to think politically but logically.

  21. We all know how deadly Covid-19 is. Its now five months since Covid-19 started. Even if its hiding bane by now we would have been hearing alot of cases that ba kantwa died no bulwele bwakufilwa ukupema.

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  22. Patriotic zambian citizen – The onus is not on the authorities. This Sipho Phiri f.ool should provide evidence. we have not hidden cholera deaths in the past why should it be easy to hide such a devastating pandemic? Sipho is just a low life material seeking recognition – ru.bbish. If what he is saying is true, there would already have been a lot of deaths in Lusaka above the normal numbers – and you think that this can be hidden? Good riddance for this us.eless f.ool. How such hoodlums get on to these boards one wonders.

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  23. I have serious reservations about this Sipho Phiri’s credibility. Even assuming tests are not taking place because of the absence of test kits, those of us with relatives all over the compounds in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, could, at the very least, have been getting the usual komboni information through grapevine, gossip, rumours, hearsay, etc. such as: abantu abengi bali admitted pa Buchi Clinic, pa Lubuto Clinic abantu bafwa kuli flu, ba neighbor nabafwa from flu, three of our classmates have been admitted at Chilenje clinic with severe flu symptoms, etc, etc.

  24. Of course, these are not valid or scientific sources of information, but often this is how most Zambians get their information. Sipho Phiri, the son of the late David Phiri, is a typical chongololo from Kabulonga (with an whute English mother), with no known komboni connections, who spends all his weekends mingling with other chongololos and ba some of us drinking Glenfiddich whisky at Bonanza Golf Club. How much more credible is his information compared to Dr. Chilufya’s?

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  25. Zambia has UN, EU, AU, WHO, American, Canadian, extra, representatives in the country, you tell me all these people are being silenced by the Govt not to speak up if figures are being manipulated? Come on people, let us not suspend our common sense! You tell me with all the donations, both in material and money, these entities have made and are still making to the Govt of Zambia can just stand by and watch COVID-19 numbers being manufactured and the materials they have donated being missed or horded?

    I am sure the numbers are what they are because that is what is known at the moment. Is there a chance that some cases have been missed, YES, there is always that possibility. But exaggerations and wild speculations aren’t helpful either!

  26. That man has a dishonest face. If you make accusations back them up. Zambians have been used to mediocrity for generations. Reason we have people like him. We need astute professionals with smarts. I know why he was appointed. Inferiority complex.

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  27. If this comment came from a man in the street or some manager of a strange organization it would probably be acceptable but to come from a board member of IBA then surely he is either a misplaced person or an absolute misfit for the job or he is does not understand his job or complete under qualified for the job or all of the above. We do not need jokers in positions of responsibility. You cannot be peddling in unsubstantiated rum ours or wild imaginations.

  28. Hakainde Hichilema, has got it wrong. Not sure what political interest his tweet serves him. What is wrong with this opposition leader? More than 17 million Zambians surely we can fail to raise anyone better than this man who does not know whether is is going or coming.

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  29. Why fire him? Let him be Given platform to explain his statement. Failure to give satisfactory answer can then be fired.

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  30. If covid-19 is moving, according to Sipho, surely we should be getting reports of hospitals filling up or mortuaries getting congested. We live in these communities, why are we not seeing funerals or phone calls of sick people in hospitals?? When PF GRZ succeeds, it’s a blow for Sipho and his regime change friends, that’s why they were excited when cases kept on rising. Today, 14 cases, 1 death, 24 recoveries, 1 week no new cases.

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  31. The man is let down!!! Who else do you want to listen to.. it’s unfortunate if you can’t listen the people charged with the responsibility!!!

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  32. GRZ go on we are rooting for you and appreciate all your efforts so far and ignore all the bearers of bad news whose aim is just to politic.
    Please this is no time for politics. We have one enemy in our midst and that’s covid 19.

  33. You cant last long if you are too smart and financially independent, independent thinkers are not appreciated in PF.

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