An audio in which Chipata Central PF member of parliament Moses Mawere is threatening Prime Television reporter Oswald Yambani for airing a story in which his constituents branded him an absentee MP yesterday went viral on social media.
In the said audio, Mawere, who is also Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development, is heard threatening Yambani and accusing the reporter of being sponsored by the opposition UPND to dent his image.
And Yambani told News Diggers in an interview that he would report Mawere to Chilenje Police station in Lusaka for threatening his life when he was merely doing his job.
Below is a verbatim of Mawere and Yambani’s conversation which the minister asked the reporter to record:
Yambani: Yes honourable
Mawere: Good evening
Yambani: Good evening honourable, how are you?
Mawere: What kind of nonsense is this?
Yambani: What do you mean?
Mawere: What you are televising?
Yambani: I don’t understand what you mean honourable
Mawere: I am asking, you know what I am asking
Yambani: But it’s not nonsense
Mawere: It’s not nonsense?
Mawere: It’s what?
Yambani: It’s news
Mawere: It’s news?
Mawere: Do you know me very well?
Mawere: Okay. So since you don’t know me very well, I have forgiven you. Continue what you are doing, but don’t blame me, okay?
Yambani: Thank you honourable
Mawere: Continue what you are doing with your nonsense. This is Chipata my friend. If you have been hired, just eat your money.
Yambani: Honourable I will not tolerate those threats and allegations. Didn’t you find my missed call honourable? I even sent you a text [which you did not reply to].
Mawere: Listen! Your news, is it based on me or it is based on what? Prime TV, listen to me very well…just continue eating your money from UPND, continue eating money from those people who have hired you. But I can assure you, ask the journalists in Chipata here, they have done it before and I can assure you today they are crawling to me because of…
Yambani: For what honourable?
Mawere: Oho okay, wait. Continue, actually I will even encourage you to do more. Even tomorrow go and look for more and let them talk more about me.
Yambani: Then I will still call you honourable [because] my duty is to still call you. If people talk about you, I will still call you to say ‘people are saying this’.
Mawere: Don’t even call me. You look for people who will be saying negative things about me and go to those people who are sponsoring you to give you money. Enjoy their money, it’s fine.
Yambani: Honourable please withdraw those words that people are sponsoring me.
Mawere: I won’t even withdraw them because you are a hired gun.
Yambani: Honourable can you withdraw those words?
Mawere: You are highly hired my friend
Yambani: Are you… okay, for the last time I am asking you to withdraw your words honourable
Mawere: Nonsense! You are a hired gun and I will deal with you, okay? If you want you can even record [this conversation], record it now! I am asking you to record it so that I can repeat what I have said. Have you put it on recording?
Yambani: My phone is always recording.
Mawere: Okay, since I have told you, tomorrow put it on your news that ‘the MP has said I am a hired gun’.
Yambani: Any idea who has hired me?
Mawere: Go and put it on your news my friend
Yambani: I am not your friend honourable, you are my member of parliament
Mawere: I have told you, continue with your nonsense and continue enjoying the money of the people who have sponsored you. So like I have told you, put it on the news, thank you.
Yambani: Thank you honourable.
Efforts to get a comment from Mawere proved futile as his phone went unanswered.
And Yambani narrated what led to the phone conversation.
“Basically, I did a story in terms of Vox Pop around Chipata to find out generally how far Chipata has gone in terms of development. And the response I got from the people I interviewed was that the area member of parliament was not seen in the Constituency, that he was an absentee MP. Others even threatened that once he shows up, they would chase him. So after we carried that story, in the evening, the honourable asked the Constituency chairperson to call me and complain over the story. So I told this Constituency MP to not complain on behalf of the MP because earlier in the day, I called the MP and he was not picking, I sent him a press query via text which even showed that it was delivered but he never responded. So us we proceeded with the story. Then after we aired the story, he (Mawere) called [me] himself, I think that’s now the recording now that you have heard. But basically, this afternoon I will be reporting him to Chilenje police over the threats that he issued against me,” said Yambani.