Democratic Party President Harry Kalaba says the Independent Broadcasting Authority only suspended Prime TV’s license because the station gives coverage to opposition political parties, which poses a threat to PF.
Speaking when he featured on Pan African Radio ‘The Peoples’ Debate’ program, Wednesday, Kalaba said people would not be forced to watch ZNBC despite Prime TV ‘closure’ because the national Broadcaster had lost its credibility.
“The only reason why Prime TV is being treated like that is because Prime TV is giving an audience to people like me to talk, they are giving opposition leaders an opportunity to speak and that is not going on well [with PF]. But what the PF doesn’t know is that even if they close Prime TV, we are not watching ZNBC. If I ask just here how people are watching ZNBC, there is no one, ‘bonse tatutamba’ (we all don’t watch it). ZNBC has lost credibility and the PF have continued living in a fool’s paradise thinking if they show them on the front page of Daily Mail and Times of Zambia then they are fine. Who buys Daily Mail anyway? Who buys Times of Zambia? Those things have become moribund because we have not allowed them to run professionally. Now, Prime TV has been closed, it’s very sad,” Kalaba said.
“The IBA has just undermined itself. Today it’s Prime TV they closed, but all of you Diamond TV, Muvi TV, Pan African Radio and others, must get worried. When you see your colleagues being treated that way then you know that it has become a totalitarian system where people have lost confidence in you and the only thing you can depend on are state apparatus that can keep you. ‘Abantu tabalekufwaya, banshi ulepatikisha? So even if you are shown on ZNBC it won’t work. I even went to Multi-Choice and told them that I want to remove this thing from my decoder because sometimes my son makes a mistake when he is changing channels and brings ZNBC.”
And Kalaba said police were working under difficult conditions as they were being threatened by the ruling party whenever they tried to perform their duties professionally.
“The police are working under very difficult circumstances, remember what happened in Sesheke, the Police enforced law and order according to their job? They were fired. That is telling them that listen to the party, don’t follow the rules, listen to us as PF, not to anybody else. They want to keep their jobs, what can they do? They can watch. But I can tell the Police that ‘you have a friend in me, you have an ally in Harry Kalaba, when I become President, your dignity will be restored, even where you live, your salaries will be reviewed. Because the reason why there is minimal in countries like Singapore it’s because the law enforcement agencies are well taken care of and that’s what I want to advance when I become President so that the Police are well taken care of, so that ‘tabaleminawila amate ka K20’ (they won’t be over excited upon seeing a K20) because they would had already eaten Chicken and Chips from home,” Kalaba said.
And when asked what made him confident that he was going to win the 2021 elections on first attempt when experienced politicians like UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema had lost several times, Kalaba said he was “Harry Kalaba”.
“I am Harry Kalaba, so accept that, and I am not going to compare myself to anybody else, I have come with my own manifesto, I have come with my own mind and I have refused to compare myself to anybody. I acknowledge the good works that Mr Hakainde Hichilema has done in this country, he has formed a formidable opposition, you can’t take away from him but I am saying I have also now come on the market. What the Zambian people now require is choice, they want choice. And they don’t want to listen to those people who are saying ‘No, Kalaba cannot win the elections in 2021, he has just come on the scene. In Zambia, they say unless you stay for 10 years, unless you lose for 2 or 3 times. Watch the space, me I am not going to lose anything. In 1991, did Chiluba lose any election to become President? Chiluba was president just within the next 6 months. I am going to be president in 2021,” Kalaba said.
“And I respect Mr Hichilema myself, if I had a wedding in my family and invite Mr Hichilema to come and attend that wedding, it should not be a surprise. Because first of all, the man has accomplished himself, he has acquitted himself in so many ways.”
Kalaba also said the country was in Intensive Care Unit under the PF.
“This country is in a quagmire, this country is in intensive care. It requires a leadership that will give itself, it requires the spirit of Thomas Sankara of Bukina Faso who told his people that we are going to use our hands and produce for ourselves and keep our integrity. It requires the spirit that Kaunda had in the first republic. Zambians should not continue settling for less,” said Kalaba.