The Post Newspaper is manipulating whatever President Lungu is saying in its quest to set an agenda aimed at undermining Government so as to enhance the political fortunes of the Rainbow Party, Father Frank Bwalya has observed.
Commenting on what he termed as misguided reporting by the Post newspaper, Fr. Bwalya told the Daily Nation yesterday that most of the stories that were carried by the paper on President Lungu were ‘‘fake’’ and that they were aimed at tarnishing the image of the Head of State and his Government in a bid to market the Rainbow Party.
He alleged that while the reporters who were gathering news stories were objective in their writing, Post newspaper editor-in-chief Fred M’membe was responsible for manipulating stories in order for them to fit in well with his smear campaign against the Government.
He said Mr. M’membe was ‘‘still living with the illusion’’ that Rainbow Party leader Wynter Kabimba would win the 2016 presidential election in order for him to benefit and that his only preoccupation was to ensure that he destroyed President Lungu’s reputation in order for his friend Mr. Kabimba to rise in his political career.
“Reporters get objective stories in the field but Fred M’membe twists the stories in order to suit the agenda of undermining the leadership of President Lungu in a futile attempt to enhance the political fortunes of the Rainbow party,” Fr. Bwalya said.
He noted that it was a ‘‘sheer waste of time to think that President Lungu would harm anyone who was opposed to him’’ because he never had any record of hurting anyone and that Mr. M’membe only wanted to attract sympathy from the Zambians by claiming that the Head of State hated him.
He explained that when President Lungu used a Bemba expression which meant that Mr. M’membe was looking for misfortune, he never meant that he was going to fix him despite all the bad things he had been writing about the President, but was just explaining that Mr. M’membe was acting in a reckless manner to invite the wrath of the Government.
“President Lungu is a humble, God-fearing person who cannot even kill a fly. Therefore, Zambians should ignore insinuations by the Post Newspaper that the President was ready to harm those opposed to him and that he was bitter with Mr. M’membe.
“When President Lungu used a Bemba expression that M’membe alefwaya ukwakufwila, he did not mean that he was going to kill him or fix him; what he meant was that the conduct of Mr M’membe was that of a recklessness man by daring the people he has no capacity to deal with. The expression does not point to readiness to kill or harm somebody,” he said.
He said the path that the Post newspaper had taken in its quest to fight its perceived enemies was destructive and urged Zambians to ignore the paper’s tantrums and hate speech directed at Mr. M’membe’s perceived enemies.
He said Mr. M’membe’s obsession for power had the potential to drive the country over the edge, thereby threatening the peace that Zambians had enjoyed since independence.
He said it was gratifying to realise that Zambians had resolved to maintain peace at all cost and that they were not swayed by people who were bent on promoting acrimony and hatred.
“Zambians should continue ignoring malicious reporting by the Post newspaper and should continue praying for President Lungu especially at this time when many major economies are facing huge challenges,” he said.