THE Post Newspaper could be in breach of the State Security Act if they are in possession of classified Government documents which could have been given to them by late president Michael Sata in confidence, former Home Affairs minister Lameck Mangani has said.
And Mr Mangani said the Post Newspaper should avoid the temptation of abusing former president Sata’s name by claiming that he allowed the newspaper to have access to classified documents because the late head of State was not there to defend himself.
He said it would be wrong for the newspaper to begin using the classified documents to get at their perceived enemies and advised that the Post should stop talking about the secrets they shared with Mr Sata because the documents and information they were in possession of were given to them in confidence.
Mr Mangani told the Daily Nation that the Post would be tempering with the State Security Act if they started using the classified Government documents given to them by Mr Sata in confidence.
He said whatever was discussed between Mr Sata and the Post was in confidence and that it would be legally unacceptable for the newspaper to begin talking about the secret information they accessed from the former head of State.
Mr Mangani said the President by nature was expected to reach out to many people for advice but that it would be wrong for any citizen to divulge what would have been discussed.
He recalled that when he was Home Affairs minister, there were some of the security and sensitive matters he discussed with the head of State at the time and could not begin telling the nation about what was discussed.
“If the Post Newspaper is in possession of intelligence reports or any classified Government documents which were exclusively meant for the eyes of the President, they would be tempering with the State Security Act.
This is illegal and criminal and former president Sata’s name must not be abused now that he is dead. However, the president by his nature often reaches out to many people on various national issues.
Many people including myself have had sensitive discussions with former presidents and we cannot start talking about it. It is my hope that they will not use the classified Government documents against any citizen,’ Mr Mangani said.
He said the intention for which Mr Sata decided to allow the Post Newspaper to have access to classified Government documents was not known and it would be important to find out why this was done.