By Bennie Mundando
THE Free Press Initiative (FPI) says the conduct of Sun FM journalist Kausa Mbasela is unacceptable and far from the behaviour journalists are expected to exhibit and that the station must immediately institute disciplinary measures against him.
On Thursday last week, Mr. Mbasela hosted Socialist Party National Spokesperson Rehoboth Kafwabulula on a live call in programme on the station’s flagship current affairs programme dubbed Public Forum.
As the programme went on, Mr Mbasela allegedly used the moment to cause embarrassment to Ms. Kafwabulula by asking her personal questions such as; “who are you sleeping with?” and “are you still a virgin in the political space?”.
And FPI Zambia founder and coordinator Joan Chirwa says the manner of questioning by Mr Mbasela is not only insulting to women but the entire journalism profession which the Initiative dearly cherishes and currently trying hard to restore the confidence and trust lost among the people.
Ms. Chirwa says if Sun FM values professionalism and respect for women, they must immediately institute disciplinary action against Mr. Mbasela for his embarrassing conduct.
“What we must not forget is that the power of the media can also be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is completely threatened. As the FPI Zambia, we do not wish that such happens to our dear country.
“We categorically state here that Mr Mbasela clearly abused his power as an interviewer to embarrass someone and as FPI, we condemn his behavior and demand that he apologises to Ms. Kafwabulula, and withdraws his sentiments henceforth,” Ms. Chirwa said.
She says even if freedom of expression is a guaranteed as a basic human right, it is not without limit.
“Mr Mbasela went too far in his questioning and he deserves unreserved condemnation. The FPI further urges journalists to always be ethical as they serve the public’s right to know,” she said.