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Zambia deports TopStar CEO

Zambia deports TopStar CEO

The government of Zambia is understood to have deported the chief executive officer of digital pay television station TopStar, Yi Jian.

Details are sketchy, but the action follows a deportation order by the country's Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo.

According to a statement from the Immigration Department, via its public relations officer Namati Nshinka, Jian was deported for "allegedly conducting himself in a manner that warranted deportation under the Zambian laws."

The statement claims Jian is on record as "having used derogatory and abusive language not only towards employees of TopStar Communications, but also towards government officials on multiple occasions."

It is further alleged that under Jian's tenure as chief executive officer, the company "abrogated a number of employment codes."

In confirming the contents of the statement, Nshinka said: "There were reasonable grounds to believe that his presence in Zambia and conduct were likely to be a danger to peace and good order. Jian was deported to his country of origin."

At a media event last month, Jian said it was not true that Zambian workers were being mistreated by their Chinese counterparts but that "the conflict between management and employees were as a result of some staff who contribute value to the company while others waste time during work."

The company also revealed that it was struggling to raise enough revenue to repay the controversial US$273-million loan secured from China for the country's digital migration project due to competition in the local digital television market.

TopStar has to date not responded to requests for comment.

TopStar is a joint venture between China's StarTimes (60% shareholder) and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) (40% shareholder).

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