Sata tells off Mwamba, revokes National licenses from private Media

President Michael Sata has told off former Information Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba and revoked the National Licenses issued to private Radio Station.

Speaking at State House today the visibly angered Sata wondered how Mwamba could issue licenses to private Radio stations where opposition leaders could be hosted.

President Sata later announced the transfer of Mwamba from Information and Broadcasting Ministry to Cabinet Office in the same capacity.

He told off Mwamba saying the former leaders were not stupid not to have issued broadcasting licenses to the private media.

While in opposition Sata promised that he was going to liberalize the airwaves by issuing national licenses to private Radio and Television stations. He used to say that the Media should be limited with their inability to have equipment and not regulations.

But in what looks to have been a donchi kubeba President Sata today publicly spoke against issuing of National licenses to private Media.

President Sata said: “You come, you are Mr Emmanuel Mwamba, you give coverage to all of them so that Mr HH can now go and stand on Radio Phoenix. Mr Mwamba is there smiling. Have you seen? We are sitting here, the people who are killing our own people, there are there. The young people you bring. Can you tell me the justification.”

The President told Mwamba to revoke Nationwide licenses issued especially to non- Christian missionary stations. He singled out Radio Phoenix which he said is keenly used by the opposition and especially that it has sold some of its 25 percent shareholding to a foreign entity.

The reason why the previous administration only helped ZNBC was to protect the integrity of this nation. You know it very well, since you have been Permanent Secretary, the opposition go and sit on Radio Phoenix and you know it very well that a person outside Zambia has bought shares in Radio Phoenix and there you are,” said President Sata.

He questioned Mwamba why he went ahead to issue National licenses without consulting him.

Mwamba tried to explain that when he took over from Amos Malupanga he found a list of pending applications which the Ministry had sought advice from the Attorney General.

Yes Your Excellency, I found on my table, when you brought me to the Ministry of Information Your Excellency, the application that had been pending since 2011, the Ministry had sought opinion from the Attorney General and … ”

But as Mwamba was explaining, Mr. Sata interjected telling him that the previous Permanent Secretaries that had served before him were not stupid.

Mr Mwamba, this is 2013, you thought you were so intelligent, you thought all the previous Permanent Secretaries were so stupid,” said President Sata.

Mwamba responds, “No Sir, the previous PS had approved the first 10 licences.”

President Sata injects again, “It does not matter what was approved, the whole point is, apart from the missionaries, all these others we have to be very very careful. We have to salute on Edgar Lungu.”

President Sata said the preservation of national coverage is intended to preserve the integrity of the country.

Mr. Sata also told Mwamba not to use the Ministry to fight his political battles. He said Mwamba must come out and do so outside not using government position.

Don’t use my Ministry to fight your own political battles. Go outside, stand on the platform and we will meet you on the platform. You are supposed to protect the people and you are not protecting the people,” said President Sata.

Mr. Sata also castigated Vice President Guy Scott for issuing a statement through his Deputy Minister in South Africa glorifying the purchase of second hand vehicles.

President Sata also too off officials at Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) saying they mislead Minister of Finance over the issuance of a statutory instrument that lifted 10% export duty and allowed export of copper concentrates.

“You cannot export soil, we need to create jobs” he said and ordered the Officials to leave State House.

Meanwhile Radio Phoenix Founder and Owner Errol Hickey said it unfortunate that after 17 years of unbiased broadcasting his station can still be labelled as untrustworthy. Hickey says  he is disappointed because Radio Phoenix has always tried to be professional offered balanced coverage to all Political Parties and general public.