TURKISH Ambassador to Zambia Ahmet Ardar says the story in the Post newspaper about the visitation of some diplomats to United Party for National Development (UPND) Leader Hakainde Hichilema was misleading and has asked the tabloid to make a correction based on what transpired during the event.
This week, the tabloid reported that diplomats accredited to Zambia on Saturday visited Mr. Hichilema at his residence in Lusaka and wished him good luck in the August 11 elections.
The paper said the group of 15 diplomats was led by Mr. Ardar who spoke on behalf of the other diplomats during a luncheon hosted by Mr. Hichilema where he was quoted as saying that the international community would pay attention to the concerns on several issues raised by Mr. Hichilema.
However, Mr. Ardar yesterday asked the tabloid to write a correct version of what transpired at the luncheon as soon as possible as the language used in the story that was carried on February 22, 2016 was misleading.
In a letter to the Post Managing Director, Mr. Ardar said contrary to the impression created by the story that he visited Mr. Hichilema, the diplomats were invited by Mr. Hichilema and that honouring the invitation should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the UPND leader in this year’s tripartite election.
“With reference to your newspaper’s coverage of the lunch invitation from Hakainde Hichilema to some diplomats (22 February, 2016) accredited to Zambia, I would like to set record straight as the language used was misleading.
“I received an invitation from the leader of the UPND Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and as respect, I honoured it. It was NOT a visit but honouring an invitation. My participation to that particular event should NOT give any impression of endorsement of anything in the upcoming elections,” Mr. Ardar said.
He said he did not lead anyone to the function adding that the only role he played at the function as a senior ambassador among the invitees was to thank Mr. Hichilema and wish him good luck.
“I did NOT lead anybody to any function as all the invitees are all respectful representatives of different independent countries. As a senior ambassador among the invitees, I thanked the host and wished him good luck. I will highly appreciate if you can publish this correction at the earliest,” he said.