WE are appalled by the sheer lack of respect for President Edgar Lungu by the Post newspaper because if this is left unchecked it will set a bad precedence on the presidency, the Nkoya Royal Establishment (NRE) has charged.
NRE spokesperson David Tamboka said the establishment has followed the Post newspaper’s attacks on President Lungu for some time now adding that the usage of unpalatable language by the tabloid was going too far.
Mr. Tamboka said, it was wrong for the tabloid to ridicule him as that would create a situation where Zambians would no longer respect the head of State.
He said the presidency was an institution of integrity which needed to be respected by all and that while media institutions enjoyed freedom to work independently, there was need for owners to regulate themselves by taking stock of what they were feeding the masses on.
Mr Tamboka said Zambians were not interested in the statements that could lead to anarchy adding that President Lungu was given the mandate to rule the country by the majority of Zambians and that those who were opposed to his rule should not use bitterness to propagate their agenda because nothing would change until the mandate given to the Head of State expired.
“This culture of insulting the President by some media houses, especially the Post newspaper, should come to an end because it is not only denting our image as a peaceful and democratic country whose citizens believe in the rule of law but also putting the presidency into disrepute and if it is allowed to continue, it will have a negative impact on that institution.
“We are not saying that the President should not be criticised when he makes wrong decisions, but as a royal establishment, our worry is on the insults hurled at the President. The Post may be thinking that they are fixing President Lungu today, but what they should know is that this trend is likely to continue on others who will follow him because they will have set the precedence of not respecting our leaders,” Mr. Tamboka said.
He said there was need for media organisations to exercise restraint in the way they were bringing out issues especially those that bordered on the operations of the Office of President so that they did not abrogate legal provisions which could cite them for defamation of the President.
Mr Tamboka said Government’s reluctance in dealing with media houses that were practising extremism in their reporting should not be taken as a weakness because it was capable of reacting in a manner that would cripple the operations of some ailing institutions.
He said it was unfortunate that some media organisations were taking advantage of self-regulation by being irresponsible in their discharge of duty and urged media bodies to bring sanity in news dissemination in the country so that sanity could be restored.