The profanity and vulgar language uttered by GBM has shocked us. A sample of the language is available on the internet; it can be accessed on “Chilufya Tayali Facebook”.
The language is crude, vulgar and totally unbecoming of any person aspiring for any leadership position in society.
However it is not so much the language that bothers us, but the principle that a man seeking high office in the land could make threats to abuse the law, abrogate the Constitution by shutting us down for reporting unfavorable stories.
He also promised to starve us of Government advertising as part of the retribution for reporting true but negative stories.
The reference of returning the Editor to prison can only mean one thing, a return to the dark days when the cartel held total control of our criminal justice system and the judiciary.
If this is what UPND promises then God forbid.
We cannot deny GBM. He has been our friend through hard times when the establishment turned its back on him as he fought a seemingly the lone battle against President Michael Sata who had banished Kanyanta Sosala – the Chitimukulu. We fought together and gladly so because we stood for the truth.
We supported the cause for the principle, equity, justice and fairness that the campaign stood for, not because we had anything to gain from it.
It was GBM who not only offered us transport but also actually helped us sell the Daily Nation in his outlets in Kasama. We assumed then that this was done in good faith without the expectation that we would be compromised.
To our utter shock, speaking to Chilufya Tayali yesterday in a broadcast that has undoubtedly gone viral, GBM claims that we owe him money.
This should be a lesson to all those doing business with GBM.
What we reported was the truth. It may have been unpleasant, but it was true. There is a recording on social media purporting to be GBM threatening Mulenga Sata and stating that late President Sata would have been in prison and not State House if it had not been for the financial support offered to him by GBM.
We did not fabricate this recording. It exists and is available.
Our story was very categorical, we used the word “purported”. Further we contacted GBM for a comment. He did not answer on voice. We sent an sms to which he responded very late in the night after our paper had gone to bed stating, “It’s fake, dear”.
Our intention was to state this fact in our edition today, but this has obviously been overtaken by events.
We are a small but growing outfit relying sometimes on external assistance but each time we borrow money as we have done with the banks, we sign for it. Apart from our main bankers, we do not owe anybody any money for our capital or recurrent expenditures.
If we accept assistance from local or international sources it is not for the purpose of compromising our moral and ethical responsibilities to the journalism profession.
Journalism is a noble profession which respects the truth, equity and fairness. We shall never compromise these values for political exigency.
Open threats against this newspaper and its staff are unacceptable. We have every right to exist and report facts however negative they may be. It does not matter what Government comes into power after August 11. The Constitution guarantees us and the people of Zambia the freedom of expression.