PRESIDENT Michael Sata’s family has demanded that the Post Newspaper should stop its hate and slander crusade against Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda and that the family was angry that the newspaper was using an illegally recorded private conversation to blackmail him.
Chanda Kasolo said while he did not like engaging into political discourse because he was a civil servant, he was compelled to react because the Post had sustained its attacks on Mr Chikwanda whose only crime was doing the right thing of helping President Sata govern.
Mr Kasolo, who is Luapula Province permanent secretary said he was disappointed that some media houses in Zambia had developed a propensity of twisting and distorting facts with the desire to foment hatred in the PF so that the ruling party could be divided.
He said as a Sata family member, he felt that it was unfair for some media houses to attribute divisive statements to Mr Chikwanda.
Mr Kasolo said he was with Mr Chikwanda before and during the past week and that to suggest that the illicit recording could have been done while the two worked on a family issue was unfounded.
He doubted that Mr Chikwanda could have been quoted in the context of the verbatim story that was published in the Post Newspaper on Wednesday.
“I am also very disappointed that if the recording were true, which I have already said they are not, that somebody could go to Mr Chikwanda’s house armed with the motive of taping and betraying his trust. I unlike others, I am not a moralist but I would like to believe the adage that there must be honour even among thieves. How can you go to someone’s house, break bread and wine with them, get accepted as a family member or friend and record them for the purpose of injuring them. That is typical of a Judas Iscariot behaviour” Mr Kasolo saod.
He wondered why some media institutions were in the habit of arm-twisting or even muscling themselves out of a situation simply because such media organisations were being investigated for some offences.
He said what was happening in the PF was a calculated move by the Post Newspaper to crack open the ruling party and wiping out all the great works it had embarked on in the past three years.
“I am talking about the 650 health posts, the railway rehabilitation exercise, the youth empowerment, the construction of universities country-wide and the Link 8000 road project. Any responsive and productive media would be trying to look at these milestones instead of planting seeds of hatred and deceit,” Mr Kasolo said. He said Zambia had enjoyed peace for 50 years and that it was important to avoid fading away the political tranquility just because of selfish motives by some selected media houses. Mr Kasolo stated that Zambia was bigger than pocket agendas and advised that it was important to look at national interests that would serve a greater good than self-preservation.
“Let us also not forget that no matter how powerful as a medium of communication or indeed as an individual, time does come when the bells toll for you if you break the law. The perfect example is that of the most influential media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Australian born tycoon who once boasted of making or breaking leaders in the West. His day came in the United Kingdom in 2012 when the British Parliament took him to task for illegally recording government officials,” Mr Kasolo said.
He stated that Zambians should not be blackmailed by people who had appointed themselves as champions of democracy adding that the ruling party should support the PF new secretary general Edgar Lungu who he said was trying to do the best in reorganizing the ruling party.