THERE has been widespread condemnation, revulsion and outrage at the patently insulting, unjournalistic and childish temerity of the Post Newspaper’s characterization of President Lungu.
Political parties, journalists and civil rights observers have accused the Post newspaper of sinking to “uncouth and schizophrenic” levels of desperation in attempting to undermine the leadership of the President.
Civil rights activist Brebner Changala described as “repulsive” the journalism being practised by the Post Newspaper which he said had resorted to projecting personal attacks against the physical appearance of President Edgar Lungu and his dressing as opposed to the many burning issues that have engulfed the country
“This is not normal, no newspaper sinks this low. The desire to usurp power from a legitimately elected President has blinded the Post Newspaper and the media house has become a medium of hate speech and malice. This kind of hatred and bitterness against President Lungu will consume my friend Fred M’membe,” Changala said.
Spokespersons for the United Party for National Development (UPND) Charles Kakoma, Forum for Development and Democracy (FDD)’s Antonio Mwanza and the Patriotic Front (PF) member Frank Bwalya said the politics of character assassination were nothing but a cheap and failed propaganda to have ever hit the Zambian political debate.
Eric Chanda, the 4th Revolution Party leader and Andrew Banda who have been used in the Post Newspaper to spew their diatribe against President Lungu’s physical appearance and his dressing have been roundly condemned for having reduced their political discourse to personal attacks
The duo have been described as petty politicians who had elected to dwell on non-issues such as the physical appearance of President Lungu and his dressing instead of discussing issues that were affecting the daily lives of Zambians.
Mr Kakoma said his party did not want to be part of politics of character and personality assassination but would continue to speak about policy matters and issues that were affecting the governance of the country as well as the lives of Zambians.
He said the UPND was not interested in how President Lungu was looking or how he was being dressed but would rather concentrate on advising the presidency on how best to govern the country.
Mr Kakoma said any politician who would engage in politics of slander and mudslinging should be condemned irrespective of the political party they belonged adding that the UPND president Hakainde Hichilema was concentrating on policy matters in his political discourse.
“We are not interested in politics of personal attacks because that would be cheap politicking. We are not going to sink low as to begin talking how the President looks like or how he is dressed because such debate would not help develop the country. The UPND president Mr Hichilema has been discussing issues and policies in his weekly discourse and that is how we would want to play politics,” he said.
Father Bwalya said the Post Newspaper was exhibiting nihilistic malice and corrosive hatred against President Lungu because the man they wanted to succeed president Michael Sata was rejected in the ruling party.
Fr Bwalya said God had ordained President Lungu to succeed late President Sata and that the Head of State was enjoying God’s favour and that the favour was not going to be withdrawn anytime soon.
Fr Bwalya said the Post Newspaper in some of its editorials maliciously said President Lungu was sick and attempted to create an unstable political atmosphere in the country through their evil insinuations.
Mr Mwanza has described as unfortunate the statement by Eric Chanda that late president Michael Sata would be shocked if he came back to life and found that President Lungu had developed a pot belly.
Mr Mwanza in his facebook posting yesterday said to reduce the political debate in the country to the physical appearance of the President was but below the belt and politically not correct.
He said Mr Chanda’s remarks on the physical appearance of President Lungu was not only wrong but out of taste and character, adding that it was out of order to expect the Head of State to continue with the same physical appearance before he assumed the presidency.
“I find the statement by Comrade Eric Chanda saying that President Sata would be shocked to find that President Edgar Lungu has developed a pot belly to be really sad and unfortunate. Surely, to reduce the debate to the physical appearance of the president is really below the belt. It is not right. It is wrong and out of taste and character,” Mr Mwanza said.