Bomb scare at media house

Operations at the state-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Zambia Information Services (ZIS) and Zambia News Agency (ZANA) ground to a halt for about one hour on 15 February 2002 due to a bomb scare at Mass Media Complex in Lusaka, where the three organisations are based.

A report in the 16 February issue of “Times of Zambia” said an anonymous caller phoned Timothy Mwale, a duty technician in the ZNBC radio control room, at 6:50 a.m. (local time) and told him that a bomb had been planted in the building.

Mwale said the caller neither specified the location of the bomb nor the time it would explode. He simply advised him to alert security officers and suggested that everyone vacate the premises as a safety precaution. Mwale then phoned ZNBC Director General Eddie Mupeso, who in turn called bomb experts to comb the building.

The building was declared safe after a combined team of police officers and bomb disposal experts searched it for about one hour. Mupeso, who addressed employees from the three institutions after the search, advised them to be vigilant and report suspicious looking objects to the police. He also said ZNBC was taking measures to tighten security at its studios.

Background Information

This bomb hoax came a week after two bomb scares were reported at two other media houses, Multimedia Zambia, publishers of the weekly “National Mirror” and MultiChoice Zambia, a subscription television service operator. In January, two other bomb scares were recorded in Lusaka (see IFEX alert of 11 February 2002).

Meanwhile, on 15 February, police spokesman Lemmy Kajoba said that police were closing in on the people suspected of being behind the bomb threats.

This article was originally published on Bomb scare at media house