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Thursday, October 22, 2020

My Response to Sun FM’s off-putting and Sexist Questions to me

Columns My Response to Sun FM's off-putting and Sexist Questions to me

By Rehoboth Kafwabulula, Socialist Party Spokesperson and Member of the Central Committee

Over the weekend, Sun FM issued a statement on the interview I had on their program, “The Public Forum”. In that statement they told many half truths and drew several wrong conclusions.

We must never mistake tolerance for acceptance of the abnormal. Sun FM journalist, Mr Kausa Mbasela asked an off-putting and sexist question at the start of the interview. “Who are you sleeping with for you to get to this position.”

He asked this at the start of our conversation. In my response to him, I had hoped he realized that the question was completely off. The fact that he abandoned this line of questioning after my response was indication to me that he realized this.

My political history with the Socialist Party is on record for all to see. I joined the organization in 2016. In 2018, I became the General Secretary of the Socialist Youth League. In September, 2019, at our Party Congress, I became a member of the Central Committee of the Party. As of July 2020, I have been the National Spokesperson of the Socialist Party. So what is questionable about my age, my position and my abilities that one should suggest I got my way to the top either through nepotism or because I am sleeping with someone.

Any journalist worth their salt would have done their homework on a guest they invite to their studio. With this public record in mind, I don’t expect anyone to ask “Who are you related to in the Party or who did you sleep with for you to get this position”.

It was my hope that Mr Mbasela would realise, in my response to his question that it was completely unwarranted, disrespectful and showed a lack of research on his part, and consideration.

When he changed his line of questioning, it was an indication, to me, that he would pursue more pertinent issues as per the interview questions sent to me.
My comrades, some women and gender-based organizations, media agencies and many individual Zambians far and wide have expressed their disappointment and castigated Mr Mbasela and Sun FM for asking such an inappropriate question. I am grateful for all the support.

I decided to remain quiet on the matter because I was of the view that Mr Mbasela and Sun FM would realise self correct their action, on the basis of my response and the public outcry that followed. Silence does not mean acceptance.

I am outraged that Sun FM would attempt to justify their behavior by insinuating that I condoned it.

The questions they sent did not contain any question asking “who did you sleep with to get to where you are”.

It is my hope that Sun FM will stop using my name to peddle a sad attempt at justification.

I’m grateful for all the support the Party has received in response to this sad turn of events.

25 COMMENTS

  1. My deduction is that it’s likely at SunFM they do what they asked of you, shame on them! Many young women participate in politics as dancing queens at rallies or stripper during protests so you must be commended for taking up such a demanding position in your Party. What you should realize is that it won’t be easy. People will try to frustrate you even from within your Party. I admire your recollection. Please soldier on

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  2. These are journalist who have climbed the ladder of journalism unethically. You cannot ask such a useless question on a public forum. No wonder, most of our credible women do not want to compete in political arena. This Kausa Mbesela should apologize for attacking someone’s reputation. He is a disgrace to a noble profession of journalism. If he fails to apologize, let the women take him to task. This behavior should be nipped in the bud before it spreads its tentacles.

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  3. The problem in Zambia today is we have individuals who have go to their positions dubiously. The result is mediocrity in performance, insensitivity to colleagues and counterparts, and a blatant disregard for merit and hard work even when it is staring them in the face. A few times I have criticized IBA for their actions but whenever I encounter things like this I realize how hard a task this Authority has on its hands. Notwithstanding I do not condone the closure of Prime TV as that one was clearly unwarranted.

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  4. “‘There isn’t any such thing as bad publicity,’ or, to express the same idea in reverse, ‘all publicity is good publicity’” was written in 1939. The Irish writer Brendan Behan (1923-1964) added a memorable variation when he said in 1960, “There’s no bad publicity except an obituary notice.” Wikiquote.

  5. No need to explain yourself, that Journalist was off the hook to ask such a demeaning question. His question is demeaning to all of us women who hold good jobs, does it mean that we have to sleep with men out there to have a big job as a woman?? That sun station or whatever it’s called better apologise to the lady and better still think of hiring well trained journalists who understand the profession’s code of conduct.

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  6. Comrade Party Spokesperson and MCC, while I have reservations on your party’s political philosophy, as a Democratic Zambian, I fully condemn the line of questioning by the journalist in the strongest terms.

    It appears that in the media house where the journalist works, they have to sleep with someone to get any position of important. That’s sad.

    How you became what you are in your party is actually none of his business because the party had it’s own rules and regs which guide such developments.

    Please do not apologise and lead the way for other young women to actively participate in leadership roles.

    Viva you! Abash sexist backwardness! Abash political masturbation!

  7. I think women’s groups should demand Mbasela be banned from the journalism profession. Sorry Ms Kafwabulula I don’t agree with your sentiment that this should be tolerated. You should have told him off in no uncertain terms.
    It should n’t be! Sexism is not only discrimination but also insulting. That man can’t ask men such a question but because he sees a woman before him he wants to bully her. Male chauvinist pigs think all women don’t deserve their achievements and only get these through sex. Where is the styupid IBA? And that moribund minister of religion and even Dora? They only act if it’s a ruling party member who has been insulted?

  8. “Who are you sleeping with for you to get to this position?” This question and line of thinking is a reflection of the society we live in, which is a woman can’t rise to a position of power if such a woman doesn’t shag her way to the top.
    I find it funny that a lot of people have continued believing such crap.

  9. The questions Mr Kausa Mbasela asked Miss Rehoboth Kafwabulula amounts to bullying Miss Kafwabulula and undermining her confidence and integrity. We need to have enforceable laws against so called journalists who invite people for interviews only to start bullying them. Freedom of speech doesn’t include freedom to bully others using media.

  10. There will always be people with less IQ like that journalist. Don’t we have people like Lusambo in this country with very limited IQ and sadly they make it to leadership, and then the country crumbles

  11. Kawasaki, if indeed the policy and practice of Sun FM is to allow their staff such as Kausa Mbasela to bully people who they invite for interviews, then Sun FM as a firm should be punished according to the laws against bullying. However if Kausa Mbasela bullied Miss Kafwabulula without the blessing of his Sun FM, then Kausa Mbasela should be punished according to laws against bullying. Nobody is talking about closing Sun FM here!! Press freedom doesnt include freedom to bully people. Dont be so naive. Even in countries with press freedom, people who bully others can be sued and punished accordingly.

  12. The journalist was wrong on all levels. With freedom of speech, there comes responsibility for your words. We hope the journalist fraternity will take steps to discipline this perverted man.

  13. That was distasteful and bordering on slander. Much like what that Photographer said about Honorable Siliya. This kind of behavior you face criminal sanction. Fine the paper a considerable amount of money because it’s money they made by generating sensational news. This was the motive.

  14. This journalist TWART should be reported to the media regulator body and be sanctioned. In this day and age sure! I could have answered, ‘Your father! Don’t you know?’

  15. I could have added my little voice to the condemnation of this excuse of a journalist called Mbasela, but y’all above have very ably expressed my feelings. He’s a disgrace to the profession, the country and to all right thinking menfolk. APOLOGISE

  16. the journalist was wrong and as observed by many of the bloggers, such attitudes scare the women from participating in national development

  17. When you have more than 80% of young people thinking they could only redeem their lives in politics you know you’re losing it. In developed countries they cherish young artists and sportsmen and rich as they maybe most would not join politics not even late in their lives

  18. Mbasela, you are a disgrace to your Mother who brought you to this world. Go public, apologise and repent. 2021 might turn out for you a bad year. You might have have to eat your words as well as be on the street selling nothing.

  19. Awe sure….. no one is saying anything here. Mayo, have someone study your issue and come up with a niche that will have a stop at court so that both station and the useless mbasela can be corrected in a hard way for assaulting your integrity when he sent you questions.

  20. I know Kausa Mbasela from his student days at UNZA when he was doing a bachelor’s degree in mass communications. The fact that he even has a job speaks volumes about the declining journalism standards in Zambia. This guy was not only a very poor student academically, he was also very rude and arrogant even to his lecturers. I had a strong suspicion that he was also heavy user of very, very strong weed. I don’t even know if he completed his degree program successfully.

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