The Patriotic Front has described the Post Newspaper Headline as shameful and immoral.In a statement issued on behalf of the PF media and publicity committee Sunday Chanda said the unashamed celebration of President Lungu’s illness going by mocking headlines in the Post Newspaper and derogatory reports on social media by members of certain political parties must be condemned with utmost disgust by all well-meaning patriotic Zambians.
The Post Newspaper published pictures of the president after he collapsed on the saluting dais as various organisations marched past him during the International Women’s Day commemoration at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.According to the Post Newspapers moments before collapsing, President Lungu was seen fidgeting about and at one point drunk some water before he fell.The President’s aide-de-camp, Chanda, managed to catch him before his head could hit the ground. Other police officers and some government officials then rushed to the podium and helped lift President Lungu up.
The Post Newspaper then reported that almost immediately, Zambia Army soldiers took over the scene and surrounded all the journalists who witnessed the incident. President Lungu was carried back to the holding room. Post photojournalist Tenson Mkhala took pictures of the Head of State, but as he was about to leave the stadium, four military police soldiers chased after him and confiscated his camera. The soldiers searched Mkhala and took away the memory card that had the pictures of the incident before handing him back the empty camera. When Mkhala tried to challenge the soldiers, one of them threatened that he would be killed if he went ahead to publish any pictures of President Lungu collapsing.“You! Bring the camera, let’s see your pockets,” one solider said as he took the card away, “we will kill you if you publish anything.”
Mr.Sunday Chanda said only sadists full of hatred will rejoice in someone else’s sickness or misfortune. The callous hatred displayed by these news media and cadres of certain political parties is immoral especially in a Christian Nation like Zambia. Therefore, the hatred the Post Newspaper harbors for Republican President Edgar Chagwa Lungu remains the epitome of immorality going by today’s headline. There is need for Zambians of good conscience to frown upon such sadist reporting.
Mr.Chanda further stated that President Lungu does not become the first sitting President in Zambia and beyond to fall ill while in office. In August 2010, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, aged 59 years at that point, collapsed at the official launch of his re-election campaign. The normal reaction from citizens is that of fear and panic. In this regard, State House and Government have done a commendable job in informing the nation to avoid unnecessary speculation. For the first time in the history of Zambia, President Lungu has allowed transparency regarding his health, which ordinarily must remain a private matter. Zambians of good conscience have yearned for such openness and it is gratifying that President Lungu has granted the same.
Mr.Chanda said the President is human like anyone of us and can fall ill. The Bible calls on everyone to honour and respect authorities (1 Cor 12) and that we should be full of love, not hatred. As the medical team continue do their work in addressing President Lungu’s condition, we call upon all Zambians to pray for the President’s quick recovery.