“This is not about me, this is about every other journalist across the globe,” said Zambian news presenter Kalimina Kabinda
Live on air, a TV journalist in Zambia accused his network employer of neglecting to pay him and his colleagues their wages.
Roughly two minutes into a routine news broadcast on Zambia’s KBN TV on June 19, Kalimina Kabinda pivoted away from delivering the headlines to make an announcement to viewers.
“Away from the news, ladies and gentlemen, we are human beings. We have to get paid.”
“Everyone else haven’t been paid, including myself,” he added. The live feed abruptly cut out right after Kabinda proclaimed once more, “We have to get paid.”
Later that day, Kabinda posted the clip to his Facebook page with the caption: “Yes I did that on live TV, just because most journalists are scared to speak out doesn’t mean journalists shouldn’t speak out.”
The network posted a response on its Facebook page the following day. KBN’s CEO Kennedy K. Mambwe condemned Kabinda’s statements and accused him of being inebriated on-air as he made his complaints.
“As KBN TV, we are appalled with the drunken behaviour exhibited through a video clip that had gone viral on social media and staged by one of our part-time presenters during what should have been the main news bulletin last night,” Mambwe said.
He added the station will launch an investigation into how a “drunken part-time presenter found himself on air unabated” and and threatened disciplinary action to anyone who helped Kabinda’s scheme.
During a lengthy Facebook live stream Friday morning, Kabinda directly disputed Mambwe’s claim that he was drunk during the broadcast, saying he had many other work responsibilities that day and wouldn’t have had the time.
“I was already at the office an hour earlier than the show. What time did I get drunk?” Kabinda said.
In the live stream, Kabinda addressed the most common questions he has been asked in the week since the initial airing and reiterated his belief that journalists need to stand up for themselves in these situations.
“This is not about me this is about every other journalist across the globe we need to stand up for what we believe in ladies and gentlemen,” Kabinda said.
The story is not only making the rounds on Facebook, but has picked up steam on Twitter as well, with several people tweeting messages of encouragement and support for Kabinda’s bravery.
“Hero of the people,” wrote user @QwentCFC.
“It’s definitely Kabinda Kalimina stepping away from the NEWS for a few seconds for me – #WeHaveToGetPaid!!!” wrote user @AyobVania.
“These are the people we need, who speak up regardless,” wrote user @BlAq_Doyo.
“Legend,” wrote user @MunjungaOwen.
Another user @ArtShrike9 tweeted, “I’m very happy this got international attention.”
There is no update on the status of Kabinda’s employment with KBN. The network has released no further statements regarding the situation.
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