By David Kapoma
Zambia is slowly becoming a court room. We all must be careful when we speak out on issues of national interest. Those who transmit our views to the nation and the general public are the target at the moment.
This reminds me of what happened to Zimbabwe when President Mugabe took over power from the colonial masters. He chased all the whites and slowly started frustrating all the media houses that spoke against him. By now we all know what has come of Zimbabwe. Mugabe was the exact opposite of what Mandela was. After 27 years in prison, Mandela became president and embraced those who put him in prison. Even when the blacks in South Africa demanded to chase all the whites in protest to what they went through, Mandela realised that he needed them. He was being a leader and had the interest of the people at heart.
Levy Mwanawasa (MHSRP) was called all sorts of names especially by the post newspaper but he never closed down the tabloid. He was tolerant and told those who called him names to continue doing so. Many times he did mention that as long as he was president people would call him names.
We have since entered a different period in Zambia. Here it’s no mercy. You mess up with the authority, you face the consequences. Life teachers us that when we start something in life we must think of where we are headed. The closing down of media in Zambia started with the post newspaper and now Muvi Tv, Komboni Radio and Radio Itezhi Tezhi. These actions must be leading us somewhere and this is what we must be interested to know as Citizens. This is not happening by accident but very well planned by those executing.
The question we need to ask ourselves is when will all this stop? Everything that starts must come to an end.
IBA was very wrong in closing down Muvi TV in the manner they did. I want to believe that there are other ways of dealing with offenders rather than giving them what I consider to be the maximum punishment. Muvi TV is one of the best private Media institutions in Zambia which has an African footprint that as a country we must be proud of.
At a time like this in our country we need to allow divergent views from the media. Silencing the media will not solve any of the problems we face as a country. It must be well known that the closure of Muvi TV is purely because of the stance the station has taken which is perceived to be anti-government. This is politics and those holding political power must tell the IBA to rescind their decision immediately to serve their face.
We are not going to continue with this kind of mediocre kind of actions by selfish individuals who only want their voices to be heard. Zambia is bigger than the few individuals that want to control the voices of the masses.
The current regime must be ready to embrace democracy. Could this be what the president meant at a rally in Kabwe when he said “I can sacrifice democracy for the sake of peace”. Can we really give up on our democracy in a so cheap and easy way?
Yesterday you closed post newspaper, today you have closed Muvi TV, Komboni radio and Itezhi Tezhi radio station. Who will you close tomorrow? Is this the case of hunting or what? Can we hear more voices speak and the media respected and given the independence to operate in a free environment. Where does the actions of those in power today leave the country? Do we even care about what the international community are now thinking about our country?
Lastly I want to remind the PF leadership that the same media they are abusing today they will need them in future. This is just the nature of life. They may look useless today but tomorrow they will have the power to decide your fate. Can the IBA tell us why they have picked on Muvi TV leaving the times of Zambia, Daily Mall and ZNBC. We must begin demanding for truth, fairness, honesty and integrity in our dealing.
Zambia is a democratic state. Don’t tell us to keep quiet as if we are in court… SILENCE IN COURT!