ZAMBIAN MEDIA MUST RESPECT THE PRESIDENCY
As MMD youths, we would like to caution some sections of the local media to exercise maximum levels of professionalism and patriotism in their work especially when covering important state functions where the President is officiating.
We take great exception to the manner in which President Edgar Lungu is being covered by some media houses in Zambia. We have observed with great concern that a pattern of projecting President Lungu in bad light has developed.
There is a deliberate attempt by some media houses to negatively cover President Lungu as a way of alienating him from the general population.
The front page on one of the tabloids has featured President Lungu and claims to show him in a dozing posture. The tabloid further ran a side story claiming that President Lungu was dozing during a meeting with visiting UNDP official Hellen Clark.
As MMD youths, we beg to differ. President Lungu was very active during the duration of the meeting. What the Photographer from the tabloid decided to do was to patiently wait to capture a second when President Lungu blinked his eyes and the paper went on to claim that he was dozing during the meeting.
We saw the footage of the meeting on ZNBC TV and we can confirm that President Lungu was fully awake and active. He also made a very good presentation to Madam Clark on Zambia’s constitutional reforms and the country’s development process.
It is therefore discouraging that this tabloid decided to reduce the importance of this engagement with a senior UNDP official by misrepresenting the facts.
We find this kind of reporting very disrespectful, cheap and unpatriotic and we urge Journalists to be relevant to the country’s development process.
By showing President Lungu in bad light, the newspaper is showing high levels of disrespect to the highest office in the land.
This tabloid is abusing of its privilege of covering state functions and it would not be inappropriate if the press team at State House banned Journalists from this tabloid from covering state house.
We have been compelled to issue this cautionary statement in public interest because we feel that if this type of reporting continues, it has the potential to cause civil strife.
A visitor who arrives in Zambia today would be made to believe that the country’s law and order has broken down. This perception can lead to low investor confidence in our economy which might hurt our economic aspirations.
We also wish to appeal to some politicians including FDD leader Edith Nawakwi to desist from being used in this crusade to tarnish the image of our lovely country.
Madam Nawakwi is a seasoned politician who should realise that these selfish and narrow interests of a few disgruntled media owners will not help develop the country. We wish to advise her to stop parroting statements which she does not even believe in.
Madam Nawakwi is quoted as saying that Zambia is at war with those looting state resources.
We however fail to reconcile that statement especially that Madam Nawakwi has up to now failed to give a good account of how she benefitted from the Carlington Maize scandal which led to many poor families starving to death.
The FDD leader does not have a moral authority to champion the fight against corruption. It will do her a lot of good go keep quiet and concentrate on growing her tomatoes than alarming Zambians and the international community that the country is at war.
Our appeal to all Zambian Journalists is that your call to protect the sovereignty of the nation is greater than the call to satisfy your appetite to publish a story. You were a Zambian first before you became a Journalist and this should be seen in the manner you cover state issues.
Some Zambia Journalist should emulate their colleagues in Greece, Britain, Nigeria, Russia and even North Korea who are some of the most patriotic professionals one would ever find.
As MMD youths, we are true democrats who believe in the rule of law and therefore have the greatest respect for institutions of governance.
This is the more reason we have vehemently defended the mandate of our leader Dr Nevers Mumba to continue as President of the MMD despite numerous failed attempts to remove him.
We believe leadership should be respected and supported until such a time when the majority decide otherwise through a voting system. For now, the Republican President remains Edgar Chagwa Lungu and deserves respect from all citizens.
OFFICE OF THE MMD NATIONAL YOUTH SECRETARY
Contact: Bowman Lusambo
National Youth Secretary