A source from the Zambia Police says there is a manoeuvre to arrest Democratic Party leader Harry Kalaba and KBN Television editor Petty Chanda over the leaked audio. But Zambia Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said he could not confirm whether the duo would be arrested or not.
“We can’t say whether they will be arrested or not, we don’t comment like that. Wait until they are arrested. If they will be arrested, we will cross the bridge when we get there. Then we will issue a statement,” said Hamoonga.
Last week, police summoned and interviewed Chanda over an audio recording KBN aired in which home affairs permanent secretary – administration Josephs Akafumba and President Hakainde Hichilema’s political advisor Levy Ngoma were discussing issues pertaining to the opposition Democratic Party.
According to the police source, Kalaba put himself in the firing range by admitting that he gave KBN Television the audio recording.
Last Thursday, Kalaba said it was surprising that some government officials were describing the audio circulating on social media as fake and wondered how they came to that conclusion.
He said the only institution which could state whether the video was real or fake was the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA).
“When I got the information that State House and President Hakainde Hichilema are involved in destabilising the DP, I approached the President who denied having being involved in sponsoring anyone and encouraged me, that ‘my brother, just forge ahead’, and I thought he was encouraging me genuinely not until around 01:00 hours when I received the audio,” Kalaba revealed when he was featured on 5FM radio. “And I said ‘yes, this is my moment’. The first person I sent it to is President Hichilema, but he has not answered. He is quiet up to now. Maybe he is very busy with foreign duties. The second person is the chief government spokesperson, who is Minister of Information and Media, Chushi Kasanda, my wife. Me I call her my wife. She is also quiet. The third person is my brother, Josephs Akafumba, all of them have remained quiet.”
Kalaba said his party now had reason and proof that President Hichilema had interest to destroy DP by meddling into its political affairs as revealed in the leaked video.
Now police are saying they’re after Kalaba.
“There is a plan to arrest Mr Harry Kalaba and that editor girl (Chanda). The law does not only criminalise acts of accessing private conversations, but also the disclosure or attempt to disclose to another person the content of any intercepted communication,” the source told The Mast. “They self-confessed to a crime, so what comes after that? It’s an arrest. KBN even claimed ownership to the crime by putting a watermark on the recording. The two are accomplices to a crime, an arrest is coming.”
The source further said after she was interviewed, Chanda was asked to surrender the recording to police which she accepted.
The source said however a day later, KBN Television wrote to the police informing them that that the footage had magically disappeared.
“She said it was lost, what does that tell you? The young lady is standing in the way of justice. She is protecting those that committed another crime. She is concealing evidence, this is another criminal act. Intercepting a private phone conversation is a criminal matter, and as for KBN to justify their act it looks like they are not ready to inform the police who supplied them with the leaked audio,” the police source said. “So imwe mu media mulibe ma ethics ba Chisenga? Wamene anabwelesa audio kaya yenze pa flash, committed a crime. Manje, basi naimwe ba journalist mwatenga audio ati tupange mulandu anso kaili tizakamba ati
media freedom…it doesn’t work like that ba Chisenga. Mulandu ni mulandu. Be professional in your dealings. Kalaba angena, azakamba who tapped phone yaba boss na ba Ngoma, ndiye kusoba ulemu. Unga taping’e phone ya menso yaba President? (So, don’t you have ethics in the media, Mr Chisenga? Whoever delivered the audio, I don’t know if it was on a flash, committed a crime. But then, you the journalists also got that audio and decided to commit a crime simply because you will plead media freedom. A crime is a crime. Kalaba is going in, he will disclose. How can you tap a conversation between the President’s eyes?)”