THE story that Government plans to sell its external debt to Vulture Funds is a fabrication and the alleged source, Lucky Mulusa, now plans to sue the publisher, Post Newspapers, for criminal libel for deliberately twisting his statement.
Mr Mulusa who is special assistant to the President for Project Monitoring and Implementation said he gave the Post Newspaper a story in good faith but twisted it to suit their desired agenda of casting aspersions upon his persona so that he can be viewed as a reckless public officer.
Mr Mulusa charged that the story concerning Government having allegedly received offers from Vulture Funds to buy off its debt bordered on economic sabotage and had the potential to compromise State security.
He charged that the Post Newspaper had on countless times deliberately misrepresented his statements to suit their miscued agenda and could no longer stand by and watch the newspaper work to damage his persona.
Mr Mulusa said the Post Newspaper had deliberately twisted his statement over Zambia’s debt in which the newspaper reported that Government had been approached by the Voucher Fund to buy off its debt. Mr Mulusa stated that the Post Newspaper story concerning Government approaching the Vulture Funds to buy off its debt was not only misleading but inappropriate, factually wrong and portrayed ignorance on the part of the newspaper how the Vulture Funds operated.
He complained that as a public official, he had always found it difficult to avoid questions from journalists from the Post Newspaper but that he was aggrieved that each time he had offered an answer to their queries, their stories had always been crafted in a manner that twisted the content.
Mr Mulusa said it was time the newspaper realized that professional journalism entailed responsibility and genuineness in the provision and dissemination of information to the general public.
He stated that he had given the statement to the Post about Zambia’s debt long before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) came to Zambia but that the newspaper had conveniently waited until the team was in the country to publish their twisted story so as to create anxieties among bond holders.
“I have now resolved that I am suing the Post Newspaper for deliberately twisting every statement I have issued in good faith. From the time the Post Newspaper started covering me, they have twisted everything I have said to suit their desired agenda of casting aspersions on my persona and portray me as a reckless public official. The story concerning Government approaching the Vulture Funds to buy its debt is misleading, inappropriate, factually wrong and portrays ignorance how Vulture Funds operate,” Mr Mulusa said.
He explained that Vulture funds were investment agents who were in the business of buying off disgraced debts from the lenders and it did not make sense for the borrower to approach the one who was in debt to consider selling of the debt. Mr Mulusa explained that in capital and financial markets, it was normal and a statement of fact Government was receiving unsolicited offers from investment houses for private placement of debts but that it was wrong for the Post Newspaper to insinuate that private placement could be replaced with Vulture Funds.
He said he was ready to lay evidence against the Post of the numerous times where the newspaper had deliberately twisted his statements he had genuinely given to journalists to question and queries that had always appeared well-meaning.
“The wrong reporting and deliberate twisting of stories caused jittery among the bond holders and Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba was forced to issue a statement to calm economic verves,” Mr Mulusa said.