Victimised journalist Clayson Hamasaka has revealed his young children are traumatized after President Michael Sata unleashed a battalion of State House agents to raid his Woodlands Chalala home in a gangster movie like scene in the wee hours of last Tuesday.
Although Hamasaka did not mention any names, Zambia Reports has been informed that State House spokesperson George Chellah, information permanent secretary Amos Malupenga, Zambia Daily Mail deputy editor in chief Anthony Mukwita and a certain banker who serves on the Zambia Daily Mail board, were behind the scheme after reporting on him to Sata for allegedly contributing articles to the Zambian Watchdog.
The four first ensured Hamasaka was sacked as Evelyn Hone College for allegedly being a United Party for National Development (UPND) man after he featured the party’s president on the college radio, Hone fm.
Chellah is behind a list compiled to pursue journalists that sources say is in the hands of the parallel branches of the Zambia intelligence (OP) and that those journalists’ mobile phones and communication gadgets were tapped. Those journalists perceived anti PF, according to sources, are now being profile by both state agents and the ruling party’s militia which is responsible for physical harm.
In a passionate statement marking his first public utterances since his arrest alongside Thomas Zyambo, Hamasaka said he was going through one of the most difficulties times in life.
“It has not been the same especially for our young children who were traumatized with the experience after being held hostage in their own home at such an awkward hour,” Hamasaka stated.
His wife, Pamela, lost her job at the state run Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company because Chellah and Malupenga had told on her husband to their boss that he was UPND.
Hamasaka and Zyambo are charged with sedition for allegedly being behind the Zambian Watchdog and other online publications. Zyambo was found with notes on Sata’s biography and the State Agents believe it is a crime.
Here is Hamasaka’s full statement posted on his facebook page
On behave of my family I wish to thank you all for messages of solidarity and encouragement that we received following the Zambia security services raid at our home early Tuesday morning.
It has not been the same especially for our young children who were traumatized with the experience after being held hostage in their own home at such an awkward hour. We therefore draw a lot of strength from your goodwill messages and prayers.
When my wife and I abruptly lost our jobs in government institutions last year for no apparent reasons, we elected to take a low profile and decided to move on with whatever had remained of our lives in very difficult circumstances. Difficult in the sense that we have so far lost a lot of friends because many people would not want to be associated with people being pursued by the state. We have also lost a number of job opportunities perhaps because of the same record.
We were however delighted that there were still a number of you that showed real concern and provided massive support and encouragement in various forms towards our plight.
We particularly send special thank you messages to organisations such as Committee to Protect Journalists, Panos Institute, MISA Headquarters and Zambia office, Open Society Foundations UK, Fojo Media Institute, Media Legal Defence Initiative, Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC), Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, FODEP in Zambia, SACCORD, NGOCC, and various local and international media houses that highlighted our plight.
This is indeed as it should be because what is on Hamasaka today may be on you tomorrow.
I would also like to particularly thank Human Rights Activist Brebner Changala who risked his life that night and made sure I got some form of legal representation even when my tools of communication were all seized.
The case is not over yet as I am still required to report to security wings and I don’t know what to expect, and my legal team has so far done a commendable job.
I would however like to thank the security personnel who were sent to my house at such an awkward time in cold and really felt pity for them. Such assignments carried out at awkward hours could be very risky.
As a family, we pray for them as they continue undertaking such dangerous assignments on behalf of whoever.
Allow me to deal with the terrible flue and chest pains as a result of passive smoking while in detention from guys inside there.
For now we pray for an amicable end to this ordeal and we sincerely do not hold any grudge against anyone.