A reporter, who pretended to sympathize with the persecution of RB and his family, tricked the former President into the headline story that suggested that he asked his son Henry not to return to Zambia for fear of being persecuted.
The reporter, according to Human Rights Activist Brebner Changala gained the confidence of and lulled the former President into the headline story, which misrepresented an off record conversation that ranged over three hours of discussion.
And now, Mr. Changala has called for an end to corrosive hatred for former president Rupiah Banda by some section of the media in the country.
Mr Changala has since appealed to the church and other concerned citizens to rally together in unity and Godly love to stop the spread of the vicious campaign of hate of one group against another which unfortunately has taken root in the country.
He said some media houses were harassing Mr Banda and his family in a manner that he cannot defend himself and have even resorted to secretly recording his conversation with friends and relatives so as to find a way of pinning him down for persecution by people with an interest to serve.
Mr. Changala who was present when the reporter spoke with the former President said that the statement was taken out of context and deliberately made to portray the former President in very bad light, possibly to ensure that more criminal charges were preferred against him, in preference of the campaign launched against him.
“I was present at the Woodlands Police Station when this reporter came and joined the former President as he waited for his son who was in the cells for allegedly defaming the President. This reporter stayed with the former President, for more than three hours, all the time pretending to be sympathetic and contributing to an ongoing conversation over a wide range of topics, which neither I nor the former President knew was being recorded.” He said.
“This is criminal. This is obtaining news by trickery with the purpose of harming and injuring the person as the case has been.” He said.
“When the former head of state made this statement, there were a few people present including myself, his bodyguard and a reporter who Mr Banda constantly referred to as ‘son’ and it was this reporter who started the conversation on the treatment of Mr Banda’s children by the current government.
“It is criminal to ambush people in such circumstances where they are hurting.” Mr. Changala said.
Mr. Banda, in drawing parallels to the arrest and subsequent detention of his son, James, did refer to the persecution that his family was undergoing.
“At no point did the reporter warn Mr Banda that the conversation will be secretly be recorded. The reporter has withheld vital information in that conversation because Mr Banda did not talk about Henry without the full input of the reporter” Mr. Changala said.
Mr Changala said people should not run media houses anchored on spreading and advocating vicious hatred against fellow citizens.
In 2006, the same media houses went on throwing brick pads against Michael Sata when they saw that the security of tenure of office of the then Godfather was facing serious challenges.
“They told this nation for over two months that Sata was not fit and credible to lead Zambia and it has come to pass but it was their personal interest that was at stake during the Mwanawasa era” he said.
He said the Media, even when they did not believe in Sata, have been trying by all means to coerce everybody to support a wrong like the PF regime for their own selfish interest adding that “they ate with Mwanawasa and they could kill for Mwanawasa, they are now eating with Sata and his administration and they could kill for Sata even if his administration is showing signs of decay.
“Morality has been their beacons of hope for many years but it is seemingly becoming their fate in their merry go round” he said.
As govt canes RB……………..
Government says it is disappointed with former President Rupiah Banda for continuing to shield his children from facing the law for suspected wrongdoing.
Acting information and broadcasting Minister Fackson Shamenda charged that Mr Banda on Thursday went to Woodlands Police station to see his son Andrew who was in police custody for alleged defamation of the President.
“While there, and not unusual, he accused the Government of persecuting his children saying he will never allow his fugitive son Henry to return to Zambia to face the law, as reported in the media.
“This is unfortunate and unacceptable for a former Head of State who swore to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia before which every citizen is equal,” Shamenda said.
He said it seemed that when Mr Banda was in office, he had two laws to govern the country which were one for his family, another for ordinary citizens and that was the reason why he was having difficulties to come to terms with the reality that his children were not above the law.
“This is not persecution. This is justice which provides that all are equal before the law. The former President’s utterances further vindicate Government’s decision to cancel his passport so that he does not evade justice like his son has done.
He however assured Mr Banda that Government was not vindictive and that it will treat him with the respect he deserves as a former Head of State.
Mr Shamenda said Government respects the rule of law and would not interfere with the operations of law enforcement agencies in the investigations and prosecution of the former Head of State and his children suspected of his children suspected of wrongdoing.