Police have summoned journalist Jajah Coulibally for ‘investigation’.
Mr Coulibaly is the president of the Zambia Institute of Independent Media Association (ZIIMA). Last week, ZIIMA issued a statement condemning DMMU coordinator Chanda Kabwe over his allegations that radio stations in southern province are telling people that there is no Covid 19 in Zambia. According to ZIIMA, no radio station ever aired such messages. But the statement has infuriated Chanda Kabwe who has now set the police on the journalist.
Coulibally stays in Lusaka but he has been summoned by Kabwe police.
The Watchdog is reliably informed that Central province permanent Secretary Benard Chomba has organised PF thugs to beat up the journalist while in cells.
Below is the statement issued by ZIIMA:
ZIIMA PRESS STATEMENT ON FALSEHOODS BY DMMU NATIONAL COORDINATOR CHANDA KABWE
For Immediate Release
Saturday, 6th 2020
The Zambia Institute of Independent Media Alliance (ZIIMA) has received allegations by Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe that some radio stations in Southern province are airing messages of telling people that there is no corona virus in Zambia with shock.
We realise that this allegation is not only tribal and malicious but an assault to the operating space of the media. More worse that it comes at a time the country is engulfed with covid-19 related challenges, a situation that calls for unity of purpose.
As ZIIMA, we conducted thorough investigations, and so far no radio station or indeed any form of media house fitting into Mr. Kabwe’s allegations, which we hereby find to be imaginary hallucinations.
We therefore wish to Challenge Mr.Kabwe to provide evidence through naming those stations in that bad habit or apologize for the falsehoods levelled against the media in Southern province.
We also wish to state that failure to apologise or retract his falsehoods will compel us as ZIIMA to report him to police for alarming the nation and it is our hope that police will deal with this matter professionally.
ZIIMA is also aware that radio stations in Southern province have been airing messages on the Covid-19 in both Tonga and English.
Some have gone as far as giving out free hand sanitizers to their listeners, what else does Mr Chanda Kabwe want?
ZIIMA shall stand with media institutions that have been accused and see to it that the DMMU national coordinator Chanda Kabwe apologizes or be arrested. We have noticed an insatiable appetite by government and party functionaries to attack the media, but now enough is enough.