Petauke District Commissioner Mrs Velenasi Banda Moyo refuted reports that he had stopped PASME Radio from running a paid program of United Party for National Development (UPND) Leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Reacting to reports that he had stopped the recording Mrs. Moyo described the report as fake news, the claim by United Party UPND leader that She was responsible for his failure to feature on PASME Radio in Petauke.
Mrs. Moyo said that Mr Hichilema was scheduled to hold a Radio program at PASME Radio and he was told to pay K4,000 since it was going to be a recorded program. Mr Hichilema then withdrew upon hearing the charge and instead maliciously posted on his Facebook page alleging that the District Commissioner directed Pasme Radio management to stop the program.
The District Commissioner said the “outburst” confirms what people say about the opposition leader over his desperate efforts to cause a total breakdown of government operations by generating fake news.”
Mrs Moyo said that Mr Hichilema’s recent outburst is aimed at playing to the gallery and creating unnecessary tension as a confirmation of his group’s desperate move to breach the peace adding that his publication suggests a clear determination to use the fake news he spewed to incite the people under his control and she advised members of the Public to treat such publication as fake.
“We note with concern the fake news published we also wish to inform the public that we have opted to take the matter to court. Note that the news being circulated by Mr Hichilema on social media about Petauke District Commissioner is fake and has no grain of truth in it.” Said Mrs Moyo.
However, UPND further issued a statement condemning in strongest terms what it described as the violent attack on PASME Radio Station by Petauke District Commissioner, Ms Velenesi Moyo, and called for her arrest
The party said that it was taken aback and greatly dismayed by the continued thuggery behavior exhibited under the Edgar Lungu Administration on the media, saying that it is very disheartening to note that journalists and the media, in general, have continued to work under very difficult and extremely hostile environment under the PF regime.
The party said that the act by the DC amounted not only to criminal trespass punishable by the laws of the land but also
a violation of media freedoms as well as freedom of expression, adding that citizens who want to pass on their information to fellow citizens are not able to because of power-hungry elements in the PF.
” It is due to the lack of leadership skills by Mr Lungu that statutory bodies such as the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Zambia Police Service are unable to protect media houses and citizens, ” the statement read.
The statement concluded by calling for the immediate arrest of the DC, failure to which citizens shall effect a citizen’s arrest.