Sata directs new Attorney-General to establish the legality of online papers and disolves ZNBS board
President Sata has directed newly appointed Attorney-General Mumba Malila to investigate the legality of the many small newspapers and on-line publications operating in Zambia that are bent at spreading falsehoods about him and the Government.
Speaking when he swore in Mr Malila and Ms Rosewin Wandi as Attorney-General and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director general at State House, respectively President Sata said there was too much corruption at ZNBS which needed to be addressed.
“Two of you have been once victims of witch- hunt, you have come back because you deserve to be what you are. There is too much corruption at ZNBS. ZNBS is not doing business and I can not see how the board can appoint a woman and pay her K56 million, now K56 million per month by an organisation which is not making money! “ This is the same organisation where somebody irregularly pumped U$98 million. I have with immediate effect dissolved the board of ZNBS and I have appointed a commission which will be headed by Mr Mwila Lumbwe,” President Sata said.
He said the commission would also have representation from the ACC and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and other members. On the mushroomed internet and newspaper publications, Mr Sata tasked Mr Malila to authenticate the legality of such publications in line with the law which required that they are registered. “Last year when we were preparing for elections, these so called unregistered internet (publications) and newspapers said Mr Sata had collapsed, Mr Sata is very sick, Mr Sata has died and yesterday the whole Eastern Province (was made to believe) that Mr Sata was dead.
There is too much corruption at ZNBS. ZNBS is not doing business and I can not see how the board can appoint a woman and pay her K56 million, now K56 million per month by an organisation which is not making money! “
“So, I am not asking for a witch- hunt, but you as Attorney-General, let us enforce the laws of this country because all these internets are all orchestrated by the UPND,” Mr Sata said. The President said that last year the on-line publication, Watchdog, which he said was UPND peddled lies that he was dead, he was too sick, when in fact not. “It is all UPND and I am not going to start a witch-hunt and as they are saying now, yesterday I was dead, today I am standing here, maybe I have so many lives because even before elections I was dead, in 2009 our brothers got some fake doctor who told them Mr Sata would die before 2009 and came into a pact, come 2009, I did not die, come 2010, I did not die.
“They pull out of the pact and now they are still peddling lies, what type of politicians are these that want to survive on other people’s blood? He urged Mr Malila to re-enforce the law and assist the police and all investigative agencies in that regard.
President Sata also noted that his administration would not rush into taking people to court without gathering enough evidence to warrant convictions. “Only when we are ready shall we take people for prosecution, we don’t want to rush. You remember Mr Malila and Ms Wandi, the so-called Task Force, people were going to court for seven years, and the so-called prosecutors were getting K100 million per month for three convictions.
“Only when we are ready shall we take people for prosecution, we don’t want to rush. You remember Mr Malila and Ms Wandi, the so-called Task Force, people were going to court for seven years, and the so-called prosecutors were getting K100 million per month for three convictions.
“Three convictions for seven years, I think these are things we need to improve, let us only go to court when we are ready, to say we have a case to go and present to the courts, let us not use courts or use the police for politics,” Mr Sata said.
He noted that there was so much injustice in Zambia and wondered how a person sent on forced leave for more than three years could continue drawing a salary. “Who is cheating who? If you send a person on leave, and then you continue paying them a Permanent Secretary’s salary, they are still getting all the benefits? In my opinion this is corruption,” Mr Sata noted.
He congratulated Mr Malila for bouncing back as Attorney-General and Ms Wandi on her new appointment as ACC boss. Mr Sata said he had trust that the two appointees would discharge their duties diligently and urged them to show Zambians that they were better than those that were there. The President also took a swipe at Secretary to Cabinet Joshua Kanganja and his team for keeping him waiting at the office.
“I don’t believe in the Secretary to Cabinet because he is always misleading me. I was here waiting for the Secretary to the Cabinet, he is taking his time with his staff and I had to go back to my office. This is the Government you are running,” Mr Sata said.
And Mr Malila welcomed his appointment and stressed that he understood the challenges that lay ahead in the job but that he was equal to the task. “We shall review areas of bad administration, let me also state here that online publications and newspapers are supposed to be registered and so we shall countercheck the many on the market to see if they followed the law,” Mr Malila said.
“We shall review areas of bad administration, let me also state here that online publications and newspapers are supposed to be registered and so we shall countercheck the many on the market to see if they followed the law,” Mr Malila said.
Ms Wandi said she felt honoured and humbled with the confidence President Sata had placed in her and as such she would not let the nation down. Earlier, the President also hailed the cordial ties that Zambia had continued enjoying with Sweden and hoped the two countries would solidify such ties. He said this when he received letters of credence from the new Swedish ambassador to Zambia Lena Nordstrom.
Ms Nordstrom reiterated her country’s continued support to Zambia’s various sectors of the economy and the fight against HIV/AIDS programmes. She congratulated President Sata on his election as head of state and commended the peaceful transition of power process.
[Times of Zambia]