President Edgar Lungu has reiterated that he had nothing to do with the closure of the Post Newspapers.
President Lungu said he is a firm defender of press freedom and that insinuations that he wanted to see the Post Newspapers closed are incorrect.He said the Post Newspaper would have closed in 2015 and he has no scores to settle against the newspaper or its owner.
President Lungu was speaking during a live radio interview with Hot FM from Kawambwa in Luapula which was aired simultaneously across 21 radio stations.
President Lungu who laughed off attacks that he wants to silence the independent media ahead of elections urged the owners of the Post Newspapers to just pay up.
“Politics allows people to say and do all sorts of things but I think it is time to be tolerant, some of the things people are saying now, in their quest to be leaders. We should just take it with a pinch of salt and ignore it and say nima politics yama election,”
“But the truth that there is a lot of hot air, like Lungu has done this to freedom of the press ..….I am an advocate of freedom of the press if I wasn’t some media houses would have been closed when I became president, but about the tax, just pay your tax bwana.”
And President Lungu has challenged UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema to explain to Zambian why he picked on Geoffrey Mwamba as his running mate.
He said it was very important to view presidential candidates and running mates in their totality.
“You ask yourself who is Edgar Lungu, who is Inonge Wina, when you have answers, you say can I trust them. Then you go to see who is Nawakwi, who is Mwanza can I trust them, who is HH who is GBM can I trust them? But talking about HH and his friend, last night I was saying HH has not even explained to his friends in UPND why he preferred GBM over Dr Canisius or Mutale Nalumango.We have to explain to the people why we named certain people our running mates, we have a duty to explain to our colleagues in the party.”
Meanwhile, President Lungu has reaffirmed the need for peace during campaign and election period.
He has further instructed police not to show impartiality to offenders and deal with them irrespective of their political affiliation or political stature.
“I will make sure my political party is peaceful and I will punish and admonish those in my party who do not adhere to this pledge and similarly I request my friend in the opposition to please prevail on your cadres and officials to maintain peace it is in our interest to co-exist peacefully,” President Lungu said.
“I have said to the police arrest criminals, Ba mutoba mafunde, (law breakers) arrest them do not look at the colour red or green just arrest them. Arrest PF for breaking the law, arrest MMD for breaking the law, arrest UPND for breaking the law, there should be no sacred cows in this. No sacred cows no sacrificial lambs.”