THE Post Newspaper has turned itself into a political party and should therefore not be treated or allowed to enjoy the privileges of a media house, says civil rights activist Brebner Changala.
Mr Changala said the Post should be treated as a political party because of its desire to gain political power through its known surrogate political party the Rainbow Party.
Mr Changala said the Post Newspaper was ‘‘in character and general behaviour a seriously competitive political party in Zambia with an agenda to unseat the current Government so that it could take over the governance of the country.
He said the newspaper had interests in political power through its sponsored political party and that it had completely abandoned the role of a media house as a fourth estate.
Efforts to get a comment from Post newspaper owner Mr Fred M’membe failed and a short messaging system sent to his mobile over Mr Changala’s allegations was not responded to.
Mr Changala said he knew all the political parties in Zambia and that the Post newspaper had become one of them under the guise of being a media house yet all its activities were political with the sole purpose of taking over the governance of the country.
He said the current political environment was extremely worrying because it was perverse with loose political canons masquerading as media houses to unsuspecting citizens.
Mr Changala said the current political environment was extremely worrying because there were a lot of loose canons ‘‘presenting themselves in all hues and colours.’’
This had been compounded by the under-performing economy which had debased the social stratum of the general citizenry and the outcome had been the
emergence of a lot of wolves in sheep skin trying to take over the country by hook or crook.
“They are preying on the majority suffering Zambians but the most frightening thing is that the principle mover of this agenda is the Post Newspaper which unfortunately has been turned into a formidable political party competing for political power through its sponsored surrogate political party,” Mr Changala said.
He said it was unfortunate that the shareholders of the Post Newspaper had decided to turn the newspaper into a political house which was propagating malice, slander and hate speech against a legitimately elected government of President Edgar Lungu.
He said the Post Newspaper was no longer playing the role of a watchdog and a neutral umpire in the country’s democracy and that it was not balancing its stories to project the ultimate truth but was skewing its news to invoke people’s anger so that they could rise against their own government.
Mr Changala said media houses were a link between the governed and the governors while journalists were messengers of nothing but the truth, adding that it was saddening that the trend had since changed at the Post with journalists being used as vectors of character assassination, slander and hate speech.
He said the private newspaper was gleefully rejoicing the disgraceful downfall of its perceived enemies, a trait he described as nothing but sadistic.
Mr Changala said all well-meaning Zambians, the church, the civil society organisations and political parties must condemn this kind of journalism.
“Let us direct the energy we are wasting on character assassination and pulling each other down to finding lasting solutions to the huge economic mess we have found ourselves in…and as we go to the general elections next year to elect our leaders, we should be able to do so as a united people,” Mr Changala said.
Mr Changala stated that the Post Newspaper had turned its journalists into recording devices alleging that the newspaper had bugged all its workers who were knowingly or unknowingly recording their every private conversation from their unsuspecting victims.
He said in journalism, the reporters were ethically expected to get permission or warn their sources that their conversations whether private or not would be recorded so that citizens could choose whether to be recorded or not.
“I am appealing to journalists at the Post Newspaper to remove their body recoding gadgets because this is abuse of employees. Every citizen has the right to privacy,” Mr Changala said.