CHIEF Government Spokesperson Ronny Shikapwasha this
morning lashed out at The
Post, accusing the newspaper
of fabricating stories and inciting violence in the country. Delivering a speech
in Parliament this morning, Shikapwasha, who is also Minister of Information
and Broadcasting also charged that the Churches in Zambia were siding with
men instead of God.
"Mr. Speaker, this is the newspaper which has
continued insulting the president on a daily basis … Just recently The
Post carried the story with a headline "Zambia's envoy to South Africa,
Zuma's office have no knowledge of Banda's trip. Zuma not aware of RB's
"Mr. Speaker, before that article was published, the president
was already having a president-to-president talk with Jacob Zuma."
Speaker, I don't know why The Post did not call me, I am the minister of
Information. I have given my phone number to The Post, not only that I
have given my private number to The Post, not only that, the minister of
foreign affairs has given the number to The Post. But they went ahead and
fabricated a story without even calling the high commissioner to South Africa
Mr. (Leslie) Mbula."
"Mr. Speaker, it is the radio stations that started
the genocide in Rwanda where 25 journalists were arrested … The media is causing
agitation in the country," he said.
Shikapwasha also said the Church had
failed to remain neutral on such matter but had instead taken sides with
"Mr. Speaker, I will be failing in my duties if I end without
mentioning that the Church in Zambia has taken sides with the media.., the
Church has taken sides with men other than with God."
"Mr. Speaker, where
is the Church when a newspaper is insulting the President. The Church must learn
from the genocide in Rwanda."
My appeal to the Church is, seek thee first
the kingdom of God and Zambia shall be saved."
But Post Reporter Chibaula
Silwamba, has produced a recording of his interviews with the Zambia's High
Commisioner Leslie Mbula and Zuma's spokesperson.
"Maybe the Minister
(Shikapwasha) did not read the full story, but we have a recording of those
interviews which we will give to Mr. Shikapwasha if asked to. I do not
understand what he means by 'fabricating' stories," said Chibaula.
Vice President George Kunda commended the Times
of Zambia and Zambia
Daily Mail for what he described as upholding media ethics.
Times and Daily are doing very well, their ethical standards are very
high. When you go to them to respond to these insults, they will not allow it.
That is why we will maintain them as a parastatal because they are doing very
well," he said.
Journalists will this afternoon be protesting against the
continued beatings and harassment of reporters by MMD