State House rubbishes Masebo’s claims

THE Presidency has rubbished claims by former Tourism minister Sylvia Masebo that President Edgar Lungu instigated her arrest and has advised her to deal with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) without dragging the Head of State into her transgressions.

The Presidency has also disclosed that it only learnt about Ms Masebo’s impending arrest by the ACC through the Post Newspaper, which has been speaking and maligning President Lungu.

Special assistant to the President for Press and public relations Amos Chanda said President Lungu had nothing to do with the arrest of Ms Masebo and that he only learnt about it through the Post Newspaper and the Times of Zambia.

Mr Chanda said Ms Masebo should refrain from judging President Lungu through her previous standards and practices because the Head of State was far above such petty issues such as interfering with the operations of State investigative wings.

He told the Daily Nation yesterday that President Lungu was not aware that the ACC had summoned Ms Masebo and neither was the Head of State made aware of the reasons the Commission was after the former Tourism minister.

He said President Lungu would never interfere with the operations of the investigative wings and that if that was the experience Ms Masebo had while in Government, she should not measure President Lungu by her standards.

“Let Ms Masebo know that President Lungu is running the country on an intellectually different wavelength and could not bring himself to interfering with State investigative wings or any other institution. We did not know that Ms Masebo had been summoned by the ACC and the President only learnt of it through the Post Newspaper and the Times of Zambia. The President has no business with Ms Masebo and if that is what they used to do, she should refrain from judging the President her standards and those of her allies,” Mr Chanda said.

He said Zambians had not forgotten that during the time Ms Masebo was serving in the PF government, her friend and ally Wynter Kabimba as Justice minister and secretary general of the Patriotic Front (PF) was summoned by the ACC over the Trafigura oil scandal but went to the commission with a hoard of cadres and intimidated the officers who were supposed to interview him.

Mr Chanda said Ms Masebo should for now concentrate on defending herself in the courts of law rather than resorting to cheap politicking and maligning President Lungu.