Zambian musician flees after death threats

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Zambian musician Pilato has fled his country after receiving threats over a song which has been interpreted as criticising President Edgar Lungu and his ruling Patriotic Front (PF) ministers.

The artist whose real name is  Fumba Chama left Zambia on 5 January after receiving threats over his new song Koswe Mumpoto (rat in the pot).

Pilato

Pilato has fled Zambia

In the song he sings that the ruling elites are behaving like rats that steal food and eat, including things that they do not need.

Pilato decided to leave after receiving a video message in December recorded by cadres of the ruling PF who threatened to beat him for releasing the song, which has been a huge hit since it came out in December.

According to Amnesty International, the chairperson of the party for Central Province had ordered Pilato to stop singing the song on 11 December. Radio and TV stations were also ordered to stop playing it by the authorities.

Police also denied Pilato permits to perform at several planned concerts in December. In places where he was allowed to sing, police imposed conditions, including orders not to play any of his controversial songs.

Meanwhile, rights group Amnesty International has said Zambian authorities must immediately take steps to guarantee right to freedom of expression for artists.

In a statement on Tuesday, Amnesty says a crackdown on dissent forced the artist out of Zambia.

“The brazen determination by some in Zambia to silence dissenting views can only spell doom for the culture of robust engagement that the country has been known for,” said Muleya Mwananyanda Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

“The right to freedom of expression must be allowed to thrive,” he added.

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19 Comments

  1. I think Pilato should have in the first instance thought about any threat before the release of the song. He has has made himself a laughing stoke. Home is home baba. How long will he be gone? And where has he gone to? If he is really running away because of of his dear life there is no place he hide. The best way is to apologise and stay back home. Why create a problem for himself. Who sponsored him to start such insultive music.? He has misdirected his talent of which he should from now on stop and own up.

    Paul Simbeye

  2. Why start things which might put you in trouble at the end you even fear your own shadow,sorry you messed your self up.

  3. stop reporting Zambian stuff ths things sizikumakoma l can see Zambian daily as report zoipa zokhazokha zA malawi it’s not cul aliyese azipanga zake

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