Siavonga DC should apologise – MISA

By Staff Reporter

 

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambian Chapter has expressed disappointment with Siavonga district commissioner Lovemore Kanyama’s invasion of Kariba FM Radio.

On Friday, Kanyama walked into the radio station’s studio and interrupted a live phone-in programme because he was not happy with one caller that had criticized him.

Vice chairperson Hyde Haguta said Kanyama’s conduct constituted a threat on freedom of expression.

He said the media had a right to be independent and accommodate divergent views.

“We are perturbed that he stormed the station in the company of two police officers and threatened to lock up the said caller. MISA Zambia is highly saddened that as a leader, Mr Kanyama has exhibited high levels of intimidation on communities that depend on him for public service delivery which has huge potential to lift them out of poverty and improve their living standards,” he said.

“The DC further went on to threaten the staff of the station with detention which would include the presenter of the programme, Alfred Chimba, also known as DJ Suspect; and this we believe was meant to further create fear in the media in the district. Suffice, to say, MISA Zambia is happy that the police chose not to arrest the staff of Kariba FM on his orders as DC of Siavonga.”

Haguta further demanded an apology from Kanyama.

“Our appeal to Mr Kanyama is that he should refrain from conduct that violates the constitutional rights to freedom of expression and that of the media because as a leader he is expected to live by example through upholding the constitution,’’ said Haguta. ‘’We further demand an apology from Mr Kanyama to the station and an assurance that he will never storm any radio station or intimidate any journalist or citizens in this manner in future. If he does not oblige to this demand, we shall advocate for his removal from office because the communities of Siavonga deserve a leader who will pay attention to their concerns and address them instead of threatening them and taking away their rights to freedom of expression.”