IT IS disgraceful and a betrayal that the Post Newspaper has teamed up with Nigerians to subvert the court process in their hate campaign to vilify former president Rupiah Banda.
“This is gross impunity because the matter is before a court of law in an action brought by the State but the paper has contemptuously continued to project an impression that a verdict had already been reached, by conniving with individual Nigerian nationals who do not represent the Nigerian state,” former deputy minister in the Frederick Chiluba government Alfred Ndhlovu has charged.
He said it was diplomatically unacceptable for Nigerian nationals to come to Zambia and advocate the persecution of Mr Banda whom he said had been cleared of wrong-doing by the Nigerian witnesses who were called to testify in the matter.
It was clear, he said, that the sole purpose of the reports was to influence the outcome of the case in court.
Mr Ndhlovu said the Post Newspaper had been in the business of propagating hate messages for a long time and that its owner had already tried and convicted president Banda and was contemptuously influencing the courts so that they could send the former head of State to jail.
“There is a law in this country where matters that are before courts of law should not be discussed, but these people have no regard for the law.” He said.
He told the Daily Nation that it was not surprising that the Nigerian oil case had taken a new turn with an alleged Non-Governmental Organisation going by the name of Nigerian Civil Society Network Against Corruption attacking the former Zambian President using the Zambian media.
Mr Ndhlovu said Zambia was the only country in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) where every new Government was embarking on hunting the leaders of the previous government and that the propaganda against Mr Banda was being championed by people who were themselves corrupt.
He told the Daily Nation that the hatred against former leaders who refused to be compromised by the Post Newspaper was going to continue until Zambians rose and rejected the schemes by the cartel.
“Mr Banda deserves respect because in his three-year rule, he did a lot of good things for the country. It is unacceptable that the Post Newspaper has continued propagating hate messages against Mr Banda the way they did to former president Fredrick Chiluba. They slandered, demonized and defamed Dr Chiluba to his death and they have now ganged up with Olanrewaju Suraju, a Nigerian national to influence the Zambian courts to convict Mr Banda. The Post Newspaper has tried and convicted Mr Banda and they want him jailed…but it is not surprising that the Nigerian oil case is now taking a new turn and is being tried by NGOs,” Mr Ndhlovu said.
Mr Ndhlovu stated that it was a disgrace for the Post newspaper to have partnered with some Nigerian nationals to continue demonising president Banda three years after he had left office.
He said the Post newspaper vilified, slandered, defamed and abused former president Chiluba to his death and that they had now embarked on a campaign to do the same against Mr Banda under the guise of fighting corruption.
Mr Ndhlovu said the Post and its allies were championing hatred against president Banda and warned that the newspaper had crossed its boundaries by implying that former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan was corrupt and should therefore be pursued by the new leadership of that country.
He said President Edgar Lungu should be careful with the people he was choosing to work with because some of them would abandon him should the clique working to unseat him in the 2016 general elections succeed. Mr Ndhlovu said former president Kenneth Kaunda was abandoned after losing power while those who claimed that they were close to president Banda quickly melted away after power shifted to the Patriotic Front.
Mr Ndhlovu said President Lungu should know his true friends because the people surrounding him were only with him for as long as he remained Head of State.