A journalist facing trial in a case linking him to the Zambian Watchdog, an investigative news website currently blocked in Zambia, was recently beaten and threatened with death. His alleged assailant? The son of Zambian President Michael Sata.
Kazim Sata recently came into the limelight following his wedding, which his father did not attend on account of leaving the country. Some outlets reported that the President had repaired to an unknown destination, while others indicated he had traveled to New Delhi for a medical procedure. A few weeks later, President Sata appeared in neighbouring Zimbabwe to attend the wedding of President Robert Mugabe’s daughter, Bona.
According to the Zambian Watchdog, which reported the incident, Kazim accosted journalist Thomas Zgambo in Lusaka's Kabwata district, about three kilometres from the presidential palace, throwing punches at him and verbally abusing him. The website reported:
President Michael Sata’s son Kazimu this (Wednesday) morning attacked journalist Thomas Zgambo for no apparent reason.
Kazim who was being driven in a Mistubishi Pajero registration number ALB 9252 spotted Zgambo at a social club in Kabwata and disembarked from the vehicle.
He went straight for Zgambo and hit him with fists in the ribs while shouting ‘iwe [you]… [epithet removed]’.
The incident shocked people who were around at a social Club in Kabwata where Zgambo had stopped over to meet friends.
Zgambo is reported to have said:
I will write to his Father. Kazim is very stupid. How can he start treating people like that? Whatever happens his father will only rule for maximum of ten years thereafter it will be fair play.
Katuba old boys, a reader commenting on the story, recalled how one of former President Frederick Chiluba's children used to harass citizens. He wrote [comments do not have permalinks]:
The so called son to the President will just embarrass his father, and he should remember how Castro was treated after his father left presidency. The chap was hunted and beaten all the time he tried to move around. He should remember that time will come when there will be no body guards and no pajeros to drive in. Sad with Africans
Zgambo is among several journalists who have been arrested in recent months for suspected links with the Zambian Watchdog. Freelance journalist Wilson Pondamali who was arrested around the same time with Zgambo and former journalism lecturer Clayson Hamasaka, has since been acquitted.