Presidential press aide George Chellah on Saturday verbally abused a Daily Nation official for asking him whether President Michael Sata had flown out of the country.
This was after it was noticed that the military sentries had been removed from State House main entrance and the presidential flag was not airborne.
On Saturday, President Sata flew to Johannesburg in South Africa to visit his son Kazimu who is admitted to Milpark Hospital after a near fatal accident in Kitwe.
But a statement on the departure of the President was only released in the evening of Saturday.
Earlier in the morning, when the Daily Nation asked Mr Chellah to confirm if the Head of State had travelled out, the presidential press aide went ballistic and insulted the Daily Nation official calling him an idiot.
Mr Chellah who sounded angry and irritated that the Daily Nation had sent him a text message inquiring about whether President Sata had travelled out following the removal of the sentries from the main entrance of State House and the absence of the presidential flag charged that the Daily Nation was not a special newspaper to be given preference.
He said the newspaper’s official should have waited for a press statement from State House rather than asking him about the President’s trip.
Mr Chellah said he had circulated a press statement and the pictures of the President leaving Zambia and arriving in South Africa wondering why the Daily Nation did not wait for his official communication.
After failing to get Mr Chellah who was not picking all the calls, the Daily Nation official decided to send him a text message asking him whether the President had left the country and in the evening, he (Chellah) called the official and immediately branded him an idiot for not waiting for his press statement.
“You are the Daily Nation who called. You are an idiot. Why did you not wait for my statement instead of calling me and sending messages? You think the Daily Nation is any special,” Mr Chellah said before cutting the line.
The official whom the newspaper has withheld the name for security reasons said he was shocked by the reaction from Mr Chellah who instead of answering the question elected to insult the individual.
The official said he tried to reason with Mr Chellah about being civil in his language but the Presidential press aide went on with his vile language.
The official said Mr Chellah would not listen to his explanation and continued with his insulting and disparaging language.
“He (Chellah) called me and asked if I was the Daily Nation official who had called earlier in the day. When I said yes and introduced myself, he just said I was an idiot. He told me I should have waited for his press statement and the pictures of the President that he had circulated to the media instead of calling him. I tried to explain that we were just trying to find out whether President Sata had travelled out, the man just continued shouting. I was surprised and shocked that he could react in such a manner,” the official said.