By Martha Mpindu

Margaret Chisulo, a ZNBC presenter, has gained support from UKWA after an incident that sparked political controversy. During her English program, Chisulo forbade a caller from using Lozi, even though she allowed callers speaking Nyanga and Bemba to continue, citing her lack of understanding of Lozi.

Apparently, the caller had intended to highlight the perceived unfairness of ZNBC’s policy, which allows unrestricted use of Bemba and Nyanya on an English channel while relegating other languages to indigenous channels.

Chisulo interrupted the caller, even though a panelist was willing to interpret for her. This decision has ignited a fierce debate, with critics arguing that Chisulo should have let the caller express herself in her local language, after which she could have asked her to clarify her statement, in English or request the panelist who exhibited an understanding of Silozi, to interpret.

Conversely, a group led by UKWA has launched a campaign “I stand with Margaret Chisulo”, supporting her decision to bar the caller from expressing herself in her native language, and instead direct her to local channels, justifying the action by her inability to understand the caller.

They contend that the presenter was in order to outrightly stop the local language user, citing her as a nuisance for speaking a ‘strange language’, on a public broadcaster that is forbidden by policy, to discriminate.

Others are comparing her to a female MP who heckled President Hakainde Hichilema during the Parliamentary address. They cite both of them as heroines, emphasizing that Chisulo is courageous by keeping the ZNBC English channel unburdened.

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