GOVERNMENT has demanded a public apology from Katuba member of Parliament (MP) Jonas Shakafuswa for alleging that President Banda is running a mediocre Government.
Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha said it is unacceptable and unZambian for Mr Shakafuswa to call Mr Banda ‘a monster’ and to incite Zambians to rise against a democratically-elected Government.
The Chief Government Spokesman was reacting to a statement in yesterday’s Post in which Mr Shakafuswa was quoted as having said Zambians must rise against President Banda because of his ‘mediocre’ leadership.
In the same article, Mr Shakafuswa called President Banda a ‘monster’.
But Gen Shikapwasha said it is ridiculous for Mr Shakafuswa to disrespect the decisions Mr Banda is making pertaining to the governance of the country.
He said Mr Shakafuswa must refrain from inciting Zambians to rise against President Banda by alleging that the President is a dictator and that he is refusing to listen to the concerns of Zambians.
“It is very unZambian for him to insult or call elders monsters. Mr Shakafuswa’s statement is very alarming and disturbing to Government and the MMD. It can cause anarchy in the nation because President Banda has supporters who have been provoked by the statement.
“Government is demanding that Mr Shakafuswa apologises unreservedly for the lies he has been perpetrating against President Banda and his Government because that is the correct and honourable thing to do,” Gen Shikapwasha said.
He advised Mr Shakafuswa to refute the statement if he was misquoted by the newspaper and stop sowing seeds of hatred for political gain.
Gen Shikapwasha also appealed to the media to help Government promote peace and unity in the country by not publishing stories which have the potential to breed anarchy.
Gen Shikapwasha said journalists are the eyes and ears of the public and they belong to a noble profession premised on the dissemination of truthful, reliable and accurate information to the public.
He said the conduct of some media houses leaves much to be desired.
“In their desperate campaign against President Banda’s Government, they have continued to peddle lies pertaining to the affairs of the nation,” Gen Shikapwasha said.
“I will call him to explain what I was trying to say in the story I gave to the Post. The impression created that I called President Banda a monster is wrong,” he said.
Meanwhile, ZANGOSE CHAMBWA reports that the church has condemned Mr Shakafuswa for insulting President Banda and has called on him to show remorse and apologise.
Independent Churches of Zambia president David Masupa said President Banda deserves respect while Bible Gospel Church in Africa Bishop Peter Ndhlovu has described Mr Shakafuswa’s remarks as irresponsible.
Meanwhile, DORIS KASOTE reports that Mr Shakafuswa said President Banda is like his father and he could not call him a monster.
Mr Shakafuswa said in an interview that he may have political differences with Mr Banda but he cannot refer to a head of State as a monster.
Asked if he would make a public apology over his statement as demanded by Chief Government spokesperson Ronnie Shikapwasha, Mr Shakafuswa said he would personally talk to Gen Shikapwasha.
“I will call him to explain what I was trying to say in the story I gave to the Post,” he said.
“The impression created that I called President Banda a monster is wrong,” he said.
Mr Shakafuswa was reacting to a story in the Post edition of yesterday in which he was reported as saying Zambians should rise against ‘this monster’.
He said the monster he was referring to was the ‘system’ and not Mr Banda.
He said the system that the President was operating under was the same one allegedly created by Mr Mulongoti and others.
[Zambia Daily Mail]