Former Information and Broadcasting Permanent Secretary in the Rupiah Banda administration Sam Phiri says the tragedy facing the Post Newspapers today is self-inflicted.
Dr Phiri said the problem with The Post is not that they owe Zambia Revenue Authority or the Development Bank of Zambia but that the newspaper helped create and sustain the monster which is now feasting on their carcass.
“Prior to 2011, The Post campaigned for and provided logistical and strategic support to what will go down in Zambia’s history as one of the most incompetent, retributive and brutal leadership of Michael Sata,” Dr Phiri said.
He said upon taking over government, The Post ensured that their protégées were infiltrated into critical positions of Government from State House, Ministry of Information, Legal Affairs into the foreign service.
“Not less than 10 Post employees went into Government and the Post enjoyed unfettered access to power and Government contracts including the printing and distribution of the draft Constitution,” he said.
“For three years thereafter, The Post sustained Sata’s ruthlessness and the erratic, sarcastic, irascible governance. But then Sata died. One of the last persons to ‘see’ Sata alive in Britain was M’membe. In the political tussles for succession within the PF, The Post sided with Sata’s nephew who lost to Edgar Chagwa Lungu.”
He added, “Then those who were victimised by Sata in the three years of his residence at State House, found a new home within the wings of Edgar Chagwa Lungu. It’s now retribution all over again! This time against The Post. That is the context of the tragedy of The Post.”
Dr Phiri said if late President Sata’s nephew was leader of the PF, The Post could have been home and dry.
“Now pity The Post for having fed the lion which is attempting to swallow them, against all the newspaper’s good sense. They knew what character they were taking into State House and all we see now is the legacy of The Post’s support. The Post were wrong in the past and what is happening to them is wrong.”