Wednesday, February 28, 2024

President Edgar Lungu thinking of not enacting the Freedom of Information Bill

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President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being  PF Deputy National Secretary Mumbi Phiri  on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being PF Deputy National Secretary Mumbi Phiri on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA

President Edgar Lungu says he is thinking twice about enacting the Freedom of Information Bill because of the way information is being mishandled by the media.

Mr Lungu was speaking upon arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka this morning from Livingstone where he hosted the African Union (AU) Committee of Ten Heads of State Summit on the United Nations (UN) Reforms.

Speaking to journalists, President Lungu said media practitioners are professionals who should be able to analyse and evaluate the information that they receive from their informers.

The President said the allegation that government is hiding a US$192 million loan from China for security purposes is false.

Mr Lungu said the leaking of information is a security issue which has already been handled further stating that those found wanting would be dealt accordingly with one by one.

He said secrecy should prevail because it will be irresponsible of him to be sharing top class information to the public.

‘It is sad that information is circulating. we are not hiding any money. That is why am even thinking twice about enacting the freedom of information bill,” he said.

President Lungu was received at the KKIA by Vice President Inonge Wina.

Others who received the President were senior government and Patriotic Front (PF) Party officials who included Home Affairs Minister Davis Mwila, State House deputy Minister Mulenga Sata and Defence Chiefs among others.

And Chief government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili says government is deeply concerned with the continued irresponsible misrepresentation of facts by the Post newspaper that threaten national security.

Mr. Kambwili who was reacting to yesterday’s Post newspaper lead story alleging that Government has hidden a $192 million loan obtained from China said the statement was not only misleading but an attempt to make the public think that government was hiding something.

Speaking during a press briefing at his residence in Luanshya yesterday, Mr. Kambwili who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services noted that the issue was of national security and therefore was not for public discussion.

He noted that it was irresponsible of the Post newspaper to disclose the matter knowing that it was of national security adding that even the access to information bill clearly stipulated that it was not all information that should be disclosed to the press or public.

Mr. Kambwili said the Patriotic Front party when it formed government declared that it would make public every matter discussed by Cabinet but that did not include matters of national security.

“Even if government sat and discussed this loan, there was no way it would have brought this matter to the general public because the issues contained therein are issues of a high security nature” , he said.

He has with immediate effect directed the Police to take keen interest in the matter and bring the culprits to book, and further warned civil servant leaking sensitive information to the public that government would soon catch up with them.

The Chief government spokesperson also observed that such irresponsible conduct by media houses was the reason why successive governments did not enact the access to information bill.

Mr. Kambwili further appealed to the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) which he said was now toothless to play its role in regulating the print media.

He noted that the media was slowly losing its ethical standards in their reporting and that government would be forced to regulate it.

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being welcomed by Vice-President Inonge Wina on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being welcomed by Vice-President Inonge Wina on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being welcomed by State House Deputy minister Mulenga Sata  on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being welcomed by State House Deputy minister Mulenga Sata on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being  PF Deputy National Secretary Mumbi Phiri  on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu being PF Deputy National Secretary Mumbi Phiri on arrival at Kennneth Kaunda International Airport from Livingstone on May 10,2015 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA

39 COMMENTS

  1. So you want to control what the media reports. The media can report in any way they wish, it’s up to the recipients of the news to make a decision of whether to believe or not believe the news.

    • A reasonable response should have been: We are not hiding anything – we are honest and above board.

      If indeed you are not hiding anything, you have a good reason to put on fast track the implementation of the the Freedom of Information Act. To do otherwise is counter intuitive. Simply put? It is stoopid.

    • Haha, get a huge loan and hide it from the people who will pay for it in the name of state secret or security then squander the money. This is Zambia chalo chesu ifwe banguele.

    • Ba Kambwili don’t worry about the Freedom fimo fimo bill, the information will be leaked. This is Zambia baba.

    • The President is wrong. It is not about what he wants. Who does he think he is? I can tell you that this attitude will permeate to the repealing of the Public Order Act, the new constitution ,etc. PF promised us a lot would be done in 90 days and nothing other than debt has been archieved. And these are the same guys demanding a permanent seat at the UN! what a joke

    • imwe bantu…. today i believe that there is poverty in zambia,,, just look at the president, he looks thin, poverty stricken in his chitenge,,, even when he is coming from Sun international hotel where there is good food,,, or maybe there is no food,, yaba! i hope HH a can donate one cow to ba lungu, and GBM can donate a drum of saladi to State house, the president seems not to have food

    • @Nostradamas
      by the way who is the mayor of Lusaka kansi?? your cousin Mulenga Sata is always driving the president`s children to kindergarden /school and buying groceries for ba na dalitso

    • BA BWANA EVEN IN THE US SOME OF THE INFORMATION CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO BE IN PUBLIC DOMAIN. JOURNALISTS IN THE WESTERN WORLD ARE MORE RESPONSIBLE THAN OURS. THEY KNOW WHAT TO PUBLISH AND WHAT NOT. SUPPOSING THE MONEY WAS ENHANCE SECURITY ON A PARTICULAR BORDER OF ZAMBIA BECAUSE MAYBE THAT COUNTRY IS BECOMING A MENACE, ETC. JOURNALISTS SHOULD PRACTICE PROFESSIONALISM IN DECIDING WHAT OR WHAT NOT TO WRITING. I DO NOT SUPPORT LACK OF FREEDOM OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION BUT JOURNALISTS SHOULD ANALISE INFORMATION PROFESSIONALLY.

    • @Ndobo, kekekeke ati Mulenga Sata from Mayor to a kaboi for Lungu. I seriously don’t like people who treat orphans like that.

    • This kaponya thinks Zambia is bar where you go and cheat low caliber girls that you a rich man when you are a professional thief with no clue in life and they believe without asking questions. I think this kaponya has taken us for granted. Even the late MCS had some respect of telling us what he borrowing. We really need to teach this kopanya and RB a real lesson in 2016. We need a better Zambia.

    • Please expose them more. This is our country and not Lungu’s or PF’s country. Everything they do as government in the name of Zambia should be known by all Zambians even the smallest loan of 5,000 ZMK should be public knowledge.There is no excuse for this mandatory requirement otherwise retire yourself in national interest.

    • @Peter. 100% correct. In the U.S.Snowden ran away to avoid being arrested for revealing the U.S. government secrets.

    • @Ndobo 1.5, it is good you observed that Lungu is getting poorer and poorer, and with Zambians blocking presidents from abuse of authourity… nifi fine even Ba President kulaonda fye. Blame Bana Dalitso for neglecting the husband… Look at design of that Lungu’s shirt, fi nyau.

  2. Ba Lungu what you are saying does not make sense. You say information is leaked, the same information is not true, and yet you are saying that secrecy should be maintained, and that you have no thing to hide. There is just too much information in your statement that is contradictory.

    • Edgar is full of utter contradiction remember what he said last time about allegation of corruption by people in his office on the selfsame KK airport tarmac; now he is saying the information is false and in the same breath he is stating that people leaking information will be dealt with….I have not respect for such people who lack leadership hence the reason I call him a bum…and a lazy bum for that matter.

    • “the allegation that government is hiding a US$192 million loan from China for security purposes is false.

      Mr Lungu said the leaking of information is a security issue which has already been handled further ”

      Exactly.

      How can FALSE information be LEAKED ???????

      Either it is TRUE…. or…. our Kachasu Lungu is so drunk he does not know what he is saying !!!

  3. & what can surely be wrong if we,the people knew where our taxes are going? Is it Edgar & his newly befriending tandem of crooks/thieves that are going to pay for that loan?non of his minions is going to accept the fact that they wanted to plunder that money in secrecy! I want to warn lungu that it’s in the pf manifesto that we got freedom of information bill which was supposed to be tabled in 90 days,making the masses t vote in that line back then.let them just do what is right!

  4. People wonder why African leaders like Edgar Lazy fails their people in good governance….this is likened to a parent telling his children that he will only buy them sweets if they behave themselves. You see how they change their tune when they come into power…Zambians wake up from your docility. Edgar is not our father..we are paying to be in State House rent free.

    On one hand he is saying those leaking information will be dealt with and on other he is saying the information…talk about being concise and articulate. The lazy bum is cowering from a press conference and choosing to talk to journalists on airport tarmacs…why dont you hold a press conference and tell us why you are still clinging on to Defence Ministry.

    • You are the one who is docile because you hide your true identity and prefer to fight online whilst based in the diaspora. If you’re brave then come back home and air your grievances openly.

  5. Veto is a powerful tool any democratic president has. Lungu should use it if media is prejudicial on behalf intellect of thieves and morons.

    Viva President Nawakwi and Bo Inonge.

  6. How can a loan that is recorded in Govt. books be secret? Just because it was not announced to the public for security reasons does not make it secret. There is so much carelessness and indiscipline with the Zambian media, civil servants and politicians at the detriment of the country. The media is so irresponsible and the professional civil service that KK built is dead – and so is the intelligence system. Were we going to be able to fight the wars of liberation with such indiscipline? The president should not sign the useless FOI – with gutter journalists, the difference between freedom of information and stupidity is a very thin line.

    • There is a reason why this is leaking of information as there is a corrupt element attached to all this just like the $200m CCTV contract last year….as that was clearly over inflated…what makes you think this is not inflated as well, look at the named Chinese company it specialises among other things CCTVs, where on earth do cameras cost that amount…why not get a loan and procure on the competitive Defence market and not the Chinese rubbish with no proper support.
      In KK’s era funds were used for its intended purpose and not through backdoor channels…this is the selfsame reason Lungu stayed longer in China and still clings on to that Defence ministry.

      Who do you think is going to pay off these loans? Its your grand children and children for what? Substandard Chinese equipment.

    • One Mo Ibrahim (Telecoms Billionaire) once stated that the difference between Lilongwe and London or Zurich or Amsterdam is merely good governance and leadership…Zambia lacks both and certainly not under this Lazy Lungu and his empty tins or useless ministers as old man Sata once called them.

  7. BWANA PRESIDENT YOU MADE A MISTAKE BY STARTING TO MAKE CABINET RESOLUTIONS PUBLIC. ZAMBIA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY WHERE IT IS DONE. YOU ARE YOURSELF TO BLAME. CONTINUE TO BE A GOOD BOY.

  8. So its true? Anyway what’s wrong with just saying you’re equipping defence and security wings. Who doesn’t expect or not happy with that? Unless you’re going to use it clandestinely against certain entities or your perceived enemies.

  9. A loan that will be serviced by tax payers has to be hidden from the citizenry because those who singularly contacted it classify it to borderer on national security. This only deepens the mistrust the general populace has in government. What is difficult in availing basic information that the government has procured a $192 million loan for defense hardware and security enhancement. I do not think the information being talked about is that which seeks revelation of minutest detail!

  10. Your excellency; the more you deny imformation the more leaks you will get;If it does not concern state secrets give the people the news else we might be misinformed with guess work; after all it is us the tax payers that will be paying all those loans. Look at ZNBC it is a dictated station all it does is glorify the PF and no news on other partys. Zambia is a democratic country, not a communist one. You are going the wrong way.

  11. Awe kwena ba pulezidenti besu! Whether you sign or don’t sign people will leak information. In good democracies this is encouraged. That’s why you find laws protecting whistle blowers. Corruption is fought thru whistle blowing

  12. why do you have lay a red carpet every time this dude hops in after a trip out of town? And all those retards lining up wasting productive time to shake hands with this dude! Pity!! Why is that most despotic african leaders want respect all the time? Threating your own citizens with arrest is not how you run a country!

  13. This is worrying yet you have the whole top PF at the airport welcoming the President from his bedroom to the lounge. Next they will all line up when the great leader is coming from the gents. Leave the man alone; look at those armed guards. We not in Somalia where the president can be taken down.
    Zambia has reached a point of no return and unfortunately HH has no direction too. We need someone to bring sanity to our politics.

  14. …..’the govt has secured $195m loan from China to upgrade national security issues…’
    …what is wrong with the above statement being released to the public by the govt?…..there is nothing of security concerned with this statement…..we are not asking for the details on how the money shall be used which I believe is of the security concern….and that’s the part which is supposed to be vetoed and not the mere securing of the loan which every Zambian is entitled to know…..
    …the post have been vindicated….it is true, the govt wanted to ‘hide’ this loan…. but why……

  15. Edgar Lungu has ran out of ideas. Now he looks like a maad man, even after coming from attending a meeting.

    His mouth stinks of Kachasu no wonder he cant articulate clear issues.

    The corrupt president wants to steal the money like Rupiah Banda.

  16. This statement was expected from Lungu and i was very positive that he was not going to give up on this one. The understanding is that every Presidents who come into power finds the Press freedom as very disturbing. We can talk of any other President to come the approach will be the same. It only takes a very very committed Human being to assert his or her signature on such laws. These are the people who are focussed on the future generation. But , for the most of them, they are usually very very selfish and would want to reap before they go away. But, Lungu seem reasonable, let us wait and see.

  17. Just the president alone shaking hands with Mulenga Sata the thief says it all. Everyone knows about the money sharing scam people in the government are involved with. The president has not done anything to Sata’s son and his allies so what does he expect the people of Zambia to do. People have had enough and want to see development after 50 years of independence. Anything money related that is not contributing or benefiting Zambian’s will be the talk among it’s citizens and is considered normal. People cried under colonial rule but this is the worst of its kind by Zambians treating fellow Zambian’s poorly. When politician’s misuses money for personal gain such as buying luxury property worth a cool $500,000 in South Africa this is the end result. Think before you act Mr. President.

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