The dismissal of ZNBC board chairman Mulenga Kapwepwe came after she created a new parallel management position at par with the Director General to report to her board, News Diggers has learnt.
According to a ZNBC source, Kapwepwe was dismissed because she made structural operational changes to ZNBC without consultation from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting services.
But when contacted, Kapwepwe said she did not want to comment on the matter at the moment until the dust settles, stressing that the truth would come out.
“Let me just say no comment. I think in due time the thing will be cleared I hope. Yeah, I think it will be cleared soon. I am not commenting; I am not commenting! Let things resolve a bit, then you can call me. Yes, now it is a bit awkward,” said Kapwepwe.
Meanwhile, Minister Dora Siliya also declined to explain the decision, saying she had already issued a statement on the matter.
Siliya’s statement dated December 17, 2019 stated that Kapwepwe was removed in public interest, citing Article 270 of the Constitution which states that the power to appoint also includes the power to remove.
“Government wishes to announce the nullification of Ms Mulenga Kapwepwe’s appointment to the Zambia National Broadcasting board of directors with immediate effect. Ms Kapwepwe’s appointment has been nullified pursuant to Article 270 of the Constitution of Zambia, as amended by the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No.2 of 2016, which provides that to appoint includes power to remove. Government has deemed it to be in public interest to nullify the appointment of Ms Kapwepwe,” read Siliya’s statement in part.
However, sources have revealed that Kapwepwe was fired over the position she created for Amon Jere.
“It was observed that Kapwepwe made structural operational changes to ZNBC without consulting government. This also included the forced resignation of former ZNBC Director General, appointment of new Director General and the creation of a new top parallel position which she called Chief Operating Officer. This person was expected to report directly to her board, which makes it at par with the Director General,” revealed the source.
“It’s a pity you say the minister has refused to comment, but she would have given you this information. As far as we know, the Minister even wrote to her (Kapwepwe) quoting Section 17(1)(b) of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Act, Chapter 154 of the Laws of Zambia, which provides that the Board shall not appoint or terminate the services of the Director General without prior consultation. What the minister explained is that she has the responsibility to explain on the floor of the National Assembly any issues pertaining to the structural changes and other happenings at ZNBC,” explained the source.
The source said ZNBC employees were hopeful that the new board chairperson would address their operational challenges.
“As you can observe, the staff and management is happy with the shake up of the board because the lady failed to manage the staff impasse. Kapwepwe was not available to address the members of staff. So unions resorted to following the minister at her office to raise our challenges. So all those reasons pointed to her dismissal. You can imagine, her board created this parallel position of Chief Operating Officer and appointed Amon Jere to take it up. But this, again, was done without consultation from the ministry. That’s why the minister asked her to pave way for someone else who was capable of resolving the staff challenges at ZNBC. And we hope that the new board chair will meet the staff demands”