Zambia: Anti-Graft Officers Raid Radio Station, Seize Materials, Intimidate Staff

Regulation & Policy

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek) wrote on April 13th that on 30 March 2007, officers from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) searched the office of Radio Mano, a community radio station in Zambia's Northern Province in Kasama. Station Manager David Chanda said the ACC officers produced a search warrant, which did not state exactly what they were looking for. He said they described the search as a "classified investigation". Chanda said that the ACC officers confined the Radio Mano staff to one room and told them not to leave the premises until the officers were through with the search, which lasted four hours. The station did not go off air, but staff did not report for work the next day for fear of being confined again by the ACC, said Chanda. However, the workers have since returned and normal operations of the station have continued.

Chanda said the officers took the radio station's chequebook, some documents and files, some of which did not belong to the station. He added that the ACC also took his personal diary from his office. When asked whether he had any suspicion on what or who the ACC were investigating, Chanda said: "They could be investigating an individual on corruption or the station as a whole. As for me, they have not approached me to say they are investigating me for such and such a case."