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.