Even before the Patriotic Front controlled Zambia Police announce the banning of the Mast Newspapers, PF cadres have already started confiscating the country’s only independent newspaper.
This author personally witnessed the confiscating of the paper at Radian Stores opposite town centre market in Lusaka this morning. The PF cadres who arrived in a white unregistered Toyota Hilux dressed in military attire with PF barrets first asked who was selling the papers. ” Ninani uleshitisha ichi chi paper” translated as who is selling this derogatory paper. At this time three of the cadres collected some copies and when no one claimed ownership probably for fear of being clobbered, the cadres collected the rest of the copies before driving off. PF controlled Police yesterday announced that some publications will be banned during the state of emergency. Ironically the Mast in today’s headline run the same story. Though Kakoma Kanganja the country’s worst inspector general of police from the time this country was created did not mention the Mast at the media briefing, the Zambian Watchdog was told about this last week by a State House source.
The Mast is the only independent newspaper in Zambia after another PF cadre and one of the country’s most corrupt lawyer Lewis Mosho liquidated the Post Newspaper. The Mast is owned by Post Newspaper owner Fred Mmembe’s wife Mutinta. The rest of private owned newspapers are treated like Toilet paper such as one owned by ex corruption convict Richard Sakala. Another small Newspaper called New Vision is owned by Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba who wants to use it for his Presidential ambitions in 2021.