Why do they want to kill Zambeef?
The current campaign against Zambeef is not about contaminated meat it is about the company itself, somebody or some people are very desperate to harm it, but for what purpose?
Zambeef has been effectively vilified lock, stock and barell.
The company has been where it hurts most, through a clever juxtaposition campaign intended to confuse and confound the Zambia people into believing a totally nonsensical and vicious lie.
What is even more worrying is the obvious collusion and active participation of the Government as signified by the comments made by the Minister of Health Dr. Joseph Kasonde, who seemed to suggest culpability even before the full facts of the matter were known.
As a Medical Doctor there is no doubt that the Minister knows the difference between Formalin (formaldehyde and methanol) used for embalming dead bodies and Aromatic or complex aldehydes used in the confectionary and food industry where it is used as flavoring, and even in the cosmetic industry where it is used in fragrances- hence the aromatic appellation referring to smell.
The difference between the two is quite clear. There can be no confusion between them, and yet the Government has allowed hysteria, fear and revulsion to envelope the country by suggesting that aromatic aldehydes were used to preserve Zambeef products to remain fresh.
What is used for embalming bodies is formalin whose smell and consistency is quite distinct and could not have been missed by the consuming public.
On the other hand aromatic aldehydes are found in such food, flavoring as benzaldehyde (bitter almonds), Vanillin (Vaniall flavor) and cinnamon flavor.
Chemically Aromatic aldehydes we understand cannot be used to preserve meat as they would have no capacity or indeed property to work in the same manner that formaldehyde or methanol would.
Why would anybody and indeed an analytical laboratory therefore confuse the two if not for malicious purposes?
It is a reality that Zambeef is one of the outstanding companies in the region with a versatile business mix that few would match. Little wonder therefore that conspiracy theories are beginning to emerge about the real intentions of the campaign.
The tragedy however is that many people will be hurt both directly and indirectly by this senseless campaign which may result in the shedding of jobs as a consequence of the expected loss of business.
Undoubtedly all the other Zambeef products are likely to be affected by this campaign which has been so well orchestrated as to achieve maximum damage on the company.
We do not believe that the best interest of justice, fairness, and equity can be served by the very one sided campaign in which such a sensitive matter has been handled. This is one subject that Government should have taken time to investigate and determine merits of before confirming or indeed rejecting any assertion by either party.
The hurried and seemingly poorly researched responses will only serve to reinforce the conspiracy theory which suggests that a negative campaign has been launched against the company.
In such circumstances truth will be the victim.