THE Post Newspaper should be treated as a political party by all political parties in Zambia because it is actively and clearly in a political contest with the aim of taking over the governance of the country through its surrogate political party, the Wynter Kabimba led Rainbow Party, the Patriotic Front (PF) has said.
The ruling party has appealed to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to take firm measures against the Post because the newspaper was using the journalism profession to push its political agenda of unseating the current government so that it could take control of the State. PF secretary general Davis Chama said the Post had launched a dangerous political agenda of regime change so that it could install its stooge president into State House and escape its financial crimes such as failing to honour its tax obligations to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
Mr Chama said there was no doubt that the Post had literally transformed into a political party but was hiding under the name of a media house so that it could continue enjoying the privileges of newspapers in the country.
Mr Chama said the Post newspaper was lucky he was not in Government because he was going to declare it a political party and ban it from masquerading as a newspaper because its activities, character and general behavior was that of a political party with the agenda to compete for political power.
He told the Daily Nation that the Post was very close to the PF during the time of late president Sata and that the ruling party knew the newspaper as an appendage of the ruling party but with a miscued agenda of taking over the leadership of the party through its ally Wynter Kabimba who was at the time the secretary general of the party and Justice Minister.
“What Mr Brebner Changala has said about the Post newspaper being a political party is very true. Mr Changala has not skirted around the subject and has said things the way they are and we agree with him totally. And as the PF, we are going to treat the Post newspaper as a political party because it is very clear it is also in a political contest with other political parties. But as a party we are appealing to Government through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to stop considering and treating the Post as a newspaper because its proprietor is using journalism to advance a well-known political agenda. If I was in government, I would have declared the Post a political party so that they stop enjoying the same privileges media houses are enjoying,” Mr Chama said.
He accused the Post of scheming the downfall of the PF Government stating that in other democracies, the newspaper would not have been allowed to continue occupying the space of being a media house as its political agenda was well-known.
He said Government should not be shy or scared of taking action against the Post because the newspaper was only masquerading as a media house when its agenda was to pander for political power.
“We seem to be scared and the owner of the Post seems to have succeeded in holding all of us to ransom. None of the people in Government can squeal or raise a finger against the Post and for many years it has been like this. What is it that we fear so much from one individual? How powerful has he become that the entire country should shiver in his presence. The country is under siege by one individual and government is scared of taking action. We need to be extremely firm about this and I wish this could happen sooner rather than latter,” Mr Chama said.
He observed that the Post had breached the country’s financial laws with impunity and that they had often times been allowed to go unpunished.
Mr Chama stated that he was however comforted by the fact President Edgar Lungu had refused to be blackmailed or be held hostage by the newspaper and that was why he had become a victim of their malice and schemes.