GOVERNMENT has directed Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani to investigate and bring to book people who leaked documents to the media on a US$192 million loan Government obtained from China.
Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said in Luanshya yesterday that police should arrest the culprits, noting that the State is not obliged to disclose security matters to the public.
“I am directing the Inspector-General of Police with immediate effect to take keen interest in the leakage of this document and bring the culprits to book,” Mr Kambwili said at a press briefing.
“Even if Government sat and discussed this loan, there is absolutely no way that it can be brought to the general public because some of these issues are of very high security concern, and there is no way Government can disclose that to the general public.
“And for those people either at the Ministry of Finance, the treasury or in the office of the Secretary to Cabinet who are leaking documents, we want to tell them that their days are numbered and they should not blame anybody. They should face the consequences of their action,” he said.
Mr Kambwili, who is Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said reporting on issues that border on security is irresponsible.
He has appealed to Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) strengthen its governance in the regulation of the media in the country.
Mr Kambwili observed that reportage is what could have caused previous governments to hesitate in enacting the Freedom of Information Bill (FIB).
“I want to appeal to ZAMEC, which is supposed to regulate the media, that we agreed as Government to allow the media houses to regulate themselves but we are disappointed because it appears ZAMEC is now toothless,” he said.
Mr Kambwili also said the police should pursue Fourth Revolution Party (4R) president Eric Chanda for allegedly defaming President Lungu.
Mr Kambwili was reacting to a media report quoting Mr Chanda as having said that President Lungu has no moral right to advise aides at State House.
“Government takes very strong exception at the unbecoming behaviour of people defaming the President with impunity, Surely, even if there is freedom of expression, can one go and say the President has no moral right to advise aides at State House.
“Can you tell your own father that you have no moral rights to talk to me? Gentlemen, I think we are losing it,” he said.