Permanent secretary threatens to shut radio station over Barotseland

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services (MIBS) Permanent Secretary Sam Phiri, on 21 November 2010, threatened to revoke Radio Lyambai ’s broadcasting license.

Phiri’s threats were based on allegations that the station had intentions to host an opposition political party leader Michael Sata to discuss a controversial issue surrounding the Barotseland Agreement of 1964.

Radio Lyambai’s Station Manger, Mukeya Liwena has been quoted saying the threat was baseless as his station had no intentions to run such a programme. Radio Lyambai is based in Mongu in the Western province of Zambia which is the homeland for some of the advocates of the Barotseland Agreement.

Liwena stated that his station had also been banned since 2007 from broadcasting live phone- in radio programmes.

Permanent Secretary Sam Phiri, was until three months ago Director of Media programmes ate the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

He is a former journalist with the Times of Zambia, and the founding president of the Zambia Union of Journalists, and was once Director of Training at the Nordic-SADC Journalism Centre (NSJ) in Maputo, Mozambique.

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