MINISTRY of Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, Amos Malupenga has said it would be unfortunate if reports that five reporters at Muvi Television had been dismissed for seeking employment elsewhere were true.
And the Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) has joined calls for Muvi Television management to reinstate the five journalists allegedly fired for attending job interviews at another media institution.
But Muvi Television general manager Costa Mwansa said he was not aware of the matter currently circulating in the public domain.
PAZA president, Andrew Sakala said yesterday that he was not aware of the issue, but that if the allegations were true then it was regrettable.
“That’s a tricky one. However, it is unfortunate if the Muvi TV management decided or intends to fire five journalists who expressed or showed other ambitions,” he said.
Mr Sakala said if the reports were true then there was need for Muvi Television management to address the reasons which might have led to the five reporters to seek employment elsewhere.
Mr Malupenga said in a separate interview that he had not received any official notification regarding the matter at hand, but that if the allegations were proven to be true then it was a “very unfortunate development.”
“I don’t want to believe that it is true, but if it is true then it is very unfortunate because people have the right to seek employment wherever and whenever they deem fit.
“Attending an interview, for me, is not an offence to warrant anyone’s dismissal,” he said.
Mr Malupenga wondered if none of the Muvi Television management officials had never sought for greener pastures elsewhere at some point.
When contacted for comment, Mr Mwansa who first laughed said he was not aware of any reporter being dismissed at the station.
“I would suggest that you find out from the said reporters. Ask them to bring you copies of their dismissal letters, if there are any,” he said.
But sources at Muvi TV said Mr Mwansa had not dismissed the five reporters, but that he had asked them to hand in their resignation letters for disloyalty.
The sources revealed, however, that the affected reporters have entered talks with management.
It is alleged that Muvi Television management had sacked Chris Habeenzu, Delphister Lungu, Pennipher Sikainda, Ing’utu Mwanza and Bangwe Naviley from the station’s Ndola studios.