State House agents on Wednesday morning stormed UNZA Radio and ordered the station to stop re-playing a sound byte of Republican President Michael Sata containing his message that promised the expansion of its radius to cater for a wider audience.
And the Press Association of Zambia has condemned information permanent secretary Amos Malupenga for threatening to revoke UNZA radio licence.
The message was being played by the station following President Sata’s cadre, information permanent secretary Amos Malupenga’s threats to the station to revoke its licence if it continued broadcasting programmes outside its frequency.
Malupenga has since ordered UNZA radio to restrict their coverage to the campus population contrary to President Sata’s campaign promise of making the varsity radio station and many others go national.
The former Post newspaper managing editor, one of the cadre journalists that have earned position is the PF government, says UNZA radio was operating outside the law and carrying programmes which were not in the interest of the PF government.
Malupenga went to an extent of summoning UNZA management for some sought of a ‘lecture’ on how they should operate the station, a development that has annoyed the Mass Communications Department at the institution which they are arguing is a form of censorship in what should be a democratic nation.
UNZA radio was one of the many radio stations that supported President Sata when in the opposition giving him and his supporters unlimited airtime for talk show programmes on which they derided the then ruling MMD government but were not threatened in the style of Malupenga.
On Wednesday morning, in apparent defiance to the orders President Sata cadre Malupenga, the station played sound bytes which carried a message of the campaign promises.
This upset State House and and in no time its agents were at the highest learning institution to stop the station from playing the recorded voice message of President Sata as they were action on instructions.
Meanwhile, PAZA president Andrew Sakala said freedom of expression should be allowed to thrive and such threats by Malupenga were retrogressive.
Mwanza was quoted on Thursday morning by Radio Phoenix saying there is nothing wrong with the radio station hosting guest with divergent views but what would be questionable is if it was used as a propaganda tool to the exclusion of others.