Publishing lies with the intention of defaming and bringing the President into, hatred and ridicule is an offence under the laws of this country.
The law states that any person who, with intent to bring the President into hatred, ridicule or contempt, publishes any defamatory or insulting matter, whether by writing, print, word of mouth or in any other manner, is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.
In addition Any person who, without such justification or excuse as would be sufficient in the case of the defamation of a private person, publishes anything intended to be read, or any sign or visible representation, tending to degrade, revile or expose to hatred or contempt any foreign prince, potentate, ambassador or other foreign dignitary with intent to disturb peace and friendship between Zambia and the country to which such prince, potentate, ambassador or dignitary belongs, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This is the law. Why are the Police failing to enforce it? Are they compromised to the extent that their loyalty should be doubted?
Fred M’membe and his colleagues behind these lies are no respecters of press freedom as they have hauled other media houses before courts of law for libel among them Chanda Chimba from whom they have gloatingly won a K5million default judgment for defamation.
By this action they forfeit any claim to journalism professionalism.
A few months ago at the prompting, urging and instigation of the “cartel” two of our editorial officers and Fodep Executive Director Mac Donald Chipenzi were arrested, detained in the cells and released on bail on the payment of K20,000 each for publishing a story that annoyed the Police command.
The Police top brass were unhappy at suggestions that the recruitment exercise might incorporate militia.
We are now confronted with a fabrication intended to bring the name of President Edgar Lungu into hatred and ridicule for engaging in a contract that was potentially corrupt.
The report further suggested that the Angolan President was involved in the same dubious contract.
Surprisingly the Police who should be vigilant in protecting the image and good name of the President have been slow to act to correct the situation.
The sponsors of the pipeline project have spoken out and so has the Government Minister in charge of Energy Hon. Yaluma who has spearheaded Government initiatives to secure fuel on terms and conditions that remove exploitative middlemen that have characterized previous procurement contracts.
The two Governments have honourable intentions of promoting bilateral cooperation as neighbors and historical collaborators.
It is therefore criminal to assign corrupt motives unless these can be proved. The damage caused to the two Presidents is incalculable and it is only proper that law enforcement agencies investigate these deliberate acts of sabotage intended to derail Government programmes.
Equally it is immoral, unconscionable and definitely criminal to suggest that Henry Banda could buy into the Da vinci Hotel complex, in the manner suggested by the Post.
Anybody with the slightest knowledge of the working of hotels and suites will immediately detect the illogicality of the narrative which is designed to evoke anger, envy and indignation among the Zambian people against President Lungu.
It is these very outrageous lies that saw second Republican President Frederick Chiluba go to his grave as a criminal in spite of being acquitted by the court.
The authors of this criminality know that “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”