We are not given to fabricating stories, neither are we given to mounting smear political campaigns against defenseless individuals. That is why the language we use is always measured because we respect and appreciate our readers who expect us to cut through the verbiage to give them the truth.
We have never abused our privileged position to offend, manipulate or indeed blackmail. Our professional ambition has always been balance, accuracy and fairness.
That is why we are taken aback by suggestions that we are promoting a tribal and partisan political agenda to the extent of writing political statements for and on behalf of His Royal Highness Mwinelubemba Chitimukulu.
This level of intemperance is not only shocking but betrays the immaturity and political naivety of those responsible. To under estimate the capacity of Chitimukulu and assume that he will countenance temerity is an act of self-destruction.
It is such displays of unbridled media abuse that force intellectuals such as Chitimukulu to react when pushed to the limit.
When the chief says”… some of the media houses have some clever fools who because of freedom of expression have become champions of snapping, snarling and the use of foul language without restraint whatsoever, and they have therefore become swollen-headed as the unchallenged heroes of sarcasm.” he means it.
He is expressing a sentiment that most “well meaning” Zambians hold about some of our media houses that have thrown professionalism to the wind in the interest of championing political causes. This is wrong and completely counterproductive because it offends and repels.
Politicians who use such media are decampaigning themselves because those with access to such media will invariably trash the message while ascribing ownership of the content to the politicians.
Zambia is a liberal democracy which derives its legitimacy from deliberation. Such deliberation must be sound and qualitative devoid of ambient noise.
This can only be attained by a polity that appreciates deliberative democracy as opposed to institutional regimentation. Consensus must be arrived at by way of reason and cogent argumentation and such consensus must be for the common good.
Agents of political dialogue must be free men and women to act on their own volition without compulsion or coercion. They must act for the common good and not from interests and preferences that are antecedent to deliberation.
This means that we must all approach democratic deliberation as free and equal men only compelled by the common good. Even the institutions that deliver deliberation such as political parties must provide internal space for deliberation and intellectual discourse. Democracy has egalitarianism at the core. Any superiority inclinations are bound to negate this value.
This is the point that the Chitimukulu was making. He did not want to be drawn into a political gimmick that would make him partisan.