Former Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Sketchely Sacika says he is shocked that a person like Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo could oversee a process of clumping down on private media in Zambia.
In an interview, Thursday, Sacika said the closure of Prime TV was an act of abuse of office by Chanda, warning that he should prepare to face prosecution after he leaves office.
“Listening to Chanda Kasolo and how he wants to control the news media, I was surprised that a man in his position could think that way. Zambia is a constitutional democracy, our Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of conscious and expression. It is Kasolo’s responsibility as a government official to see to it that the objectives of our Constitution are fully realised, not to use his position to pursue his personal interests. Kasolo’s decision to close Prime TV was abuse of authority of office for which he must prepare to face criminal prosecution when there is change of government. If Kasolo wants journalists to improve their skills, he must give them more freedom to operate. Let our journalists make mistakes, after all making mistakes is an essential part of the process of learning. You cannot force people to be responsible. People have to learn to be responsible on their own through the awakening of their consciousness,” Dr Sacika said.
“If Kasolo wants our country to develop into a viable democracy, he must give our people more democratic freedoms. Only in this way will our people learn the true value of democracy and protect it. The government is not a private enterprise the public space and time has come for our politicians to depersonalise the government and be faithful to the objectives of our Constitution. It is a betrayal of the people for politicians to hijack the country’s political system and use it to achieve their personal gains.”
Dr Sacika begged the government to give the governance of the country back to the people.
“Too much government is not good for the people. Our rulers and our politicians must learn from the experiences of others. Our people need to be freed from too much governance. The country needs to be handed back to the people. Zambians should not be asking what the country will do for them but they should be asking what they can do for their country. Everywhere you go in Zambia today, people are saying ‘boma iyanganepo’, but that is not healthy for our country,” said Dr Sacika.