Several times the Government has been forced to climb down and apologize for publishing false information.
More recently the Ministry of Home Affairs had to retract and apologize for alleging that former Zamtel Managing Director Poulsen had been deported fromZambia. The statement was so embarrassingly false that the Minister who initially made it not only disowned it but actually asked the Permanent Secretary from who it may have originated to make a public apology.
More recently the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy George Zulu was forced to apologize for suggesting that A Nigerian business house had received an underhand payment fromZambiafor an oil deal.
These statements were wrong, but were made by people who have research facilities at their disposal.
It is a very well known maxim that information is power.
Information has tremendous capacity to achieve good and evil.
Gatekeepers who control the flow of information must always make sure that nothing but the whole truth is disseminated if no harm is to befall innocent victims who may have not have the capacity to seek redress or let alone correct a mistaken assertion.
We say this because in our front page story in which the President distributed a statement regarding the net worth of UPND President Hakainde Hichilema.
Ordinarily the President should have the last word. What ever he says must be the result of research undertaken by competent individuals in any particular field.
This unfortunately is not the case.
HH has denied that he is worth that amount and has indeed provided evidence by showing the declaration he made during the run up to the Presidential elections last year. That declaration shows that he was worth about K45billion.
The difference between K45billion and K360billion is quite massive and significant. Obviously whoever compiled the figure was not comprehensive enough to exhaust all manner of research fields in order to give the President a comprehensive and indisputable figure.
To add insult to injury whoever prepared the documents sought to suggest that HH who was not in regular employment had no capacity to accumulate K45billion.
This shows a very serious logical flaw.
Nobody in paid employment would earn this kind of money unless they were a Bill Gates or perhaps Apples Steve Jobs who would dictate their own terms. This kind of money is earned in business.
Any logical extension will taste the purpose of the K360billion revelation. Was it intended to prepare ground for some action, given that the UPND has been under tremendous pressure in the last few days.
What was the purpose of the information which must now become subject of contestation, controversy and disputation?
Indeed one may be forced ask why Government got it wrong on the Nigerian crude oil scandal. What is being covered up?