MPOROKOSO PF member of parliament Brain Mundubile says he has asked party officials in his constituency to investigate what led to the disruption of a radio programme featuring Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba on Tuesday.
Suspected PF cadres on Tuesday stormed Liberty FM in Mporokoso and tried to disrupt the radio programme, saying they were sent by Mundubile.
The cadres broke windows and harassed staff members. Calm was only restored when police officers arrived.
The programme, however, could still not proceed smoothly due to power outage.
In an interview, Liberty FM programmes manager Daniel Lushinga said the station had already lodged a complaint to the police, adding that the perpetrators were known PF cadres.
“We had scheduled a programme with the DP leader, we scheduled for 11:00 hours, he arrived at the station around 10:30 hours. About 11 or so, PF cadres stormed the station demanding that we cancel the programme [saying] that they had been sent to ensure that they would disrupt the programme. We managed to push them out of the station and locked the door. They started man handling the security team for the DP leader who were outside. So we decided to go ahead with the programme but the PF cadres broke three windows at the station, they tried to assault one of our members of staff with an iron bar, they came with sharp instruments, they were chasing people around and causing commotion at the station,” narrated Lushinga.
“The police arrived about 20 minutes later because they said they had no transport. 40 minutes into the programme, we had a power outage that is how the DP leader decided to leave. We lodged a formal complaint at the police station who said they started investigating yesterday. We know all the cadres that came, we even took some pictures of what they were doing outside. They claimed that they were sent by the Mporokoso MP, I don’t know whether it’s true or not.”
And in a separate interview, Kalaba said it was unfortunate that mediocrity and lunacy were taking centre stage with regards to the governance of the country.
He said he was shocked that Mundubile could engage in politics of “lunacy”.
“They wanted to stop me from mobilising on radio. I had just come there and they also wanted to enter so my security team pushed them outside of the studio. When they pushed them outside, they started banging and breaking windows. They were shouting that ‘Kalaba should come out from there, we have instructions from our MP that he should not be on radio’. This country we cannot allow mediocrity and lunacy to take centre stage, I am not going to be part of that. I commend the police of Mporokoso, they were very swift. When the station manager called, they didn’t even have transport but they managed to use one of the vehicles from the Office of the President and they were there throughout. Then electricity was switched off deliberately so that I cannot finish the programme. Mporokoso is led by Mundubile so he has taken the behavior of MMD. It was him who told party members not allow opposition in Chilubi, but I am surprised because Mundubile, I have known him for a very long time, I am surprised that he has also engulfed in this euphoria of lunacy, but we will sanitise them,” said Kalaba.
But when contacted for a comment, Mundibile denied sending the unruly PF cadres.
Mundubile said Kalaba was not a threat to warrant such actions from party members.
“It’s unfortunate if that is what honourable Kalaba believes. Firstly, I am here in Lusaka, we are sitting as Parliament. My reputation precedes me, my politics will not precede to those levels. If honourable Kalaba who is a childhood friend of mine was to reflect upon my character, he would be the last person to say that. When I entered the political arena, my aim is to try and promote clean politics. I believe in debate, when he was on radio it was unknown to me, I just came across it, it was live on Facebook, I actually picked up a notebook and I was following him. At no time did I pick up the phone and speak to party officials to ask them to disrupt. Being a lawyer myself, I would not want to encourage my youths to engage themselves in criminal activities. The first thing I did the moment I was called, because the programme just went silent, so somebody called me to say that there was violence at the station. So, I called the officer in charge to ask what had transpired and he was actually at the scene and I told him please move in to ensure you control the situation. I called the district chairman and asked him to go on the radio to condemn that violence,” said Mundubile.
“I later asked the district youth chairman and constituency youth chairman to go on radio. I called the owner of the radio station just to apologize on behalf of the party. People might not know my contributions to that radio station, it can’t be me to destroy what I am contributing. In the background, I am in constant touch with the owner of that radio station to make sure we improve it. It is a radio station that is serving us very well. Our colleagues, the UPND are on radio everyday, so what different message will Kalaba carry to what the UPND are carrying, because they are both opposition? So, I have asked the party officials to investigate what could have triggered that particular move, because he is not the first one to appear on radio, we host a number of political leaders on that radio station, there has never been an incident like that. For me really, what threat is Kalaba going to cause to us anyway? Let us be honest, what threat is he going to cause to us that should warrant the MP to push his youths to go and storm the radio station that he is appearing? I would have wanted to listen to the radio programme until the end so that I have an opportunity to respond.”