Post workers locked outside their offices on Bwinjimfumu road
Post workers locked outside their offices on Bwinjimfumu road

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.”

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61 COMMENTS

    • @ Observer
      You are almost right. What is missing is the acceptance that God Father of the corruption, Rupia Banda has forced majority of Zambians to look outside MMD.
      Unfortunately, we ended with proverbial “from fraying pan in to deep fryer”!!!
      Lets hope that this time will be different?

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    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Sam Phiri. You have hit the nail on the head. Henceforth, the Post, will, when it gets back to its feet again, which I am sure it will eventually do, be more the wiser.

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    • That has always been my view: Mmembe is today being consumed by the lilombamema that he nurtured and nourished. There’s nothing for us spectators to do but look on in awe at the death throes of The Post.
      #The Way the Cookie Crumbles.

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    • I do not completely agree with this analysis. Yes, M’membe got some sort of a breather during Sata’s rule, but unless Dr. phiri can prove that Sata withdrew, Intended to withdraw, or in any way interfered with the Post/M’membe vs ZRA case which, at the time PF came into Govt, was already in the Courts, this is all conjecture. Is Mr. Phiri intimating that if M’membe supported RB and the MMD in 2011 and they won, RB/MMD would have withdrawn this case and M’membe/Post wouldn’t be in this ‘pickle’?

      Say what you may about Sata, but I think it is an exaggeration to suggest that Sata would have intervened in the Supreme Court’s decision. In a strange way, Sata respected our Courts and their rulings a lot. The more reason he over and over sought their counsel, intervention, and…

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    • Continue…

      …ruling everytime he was aggrieved. Sata is one person/President who liked and loved to sue which shows the kind of trust and faith he had in our Court System. So it is hard to see him tampering with the Supreme Court’s decision—and he NEVER did in this case!

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    • We are few who are like Sam Phiri. Truth tellers. Immediately after August 11th, we see The Post back on streets. I tried all technologies to DELETE pictured from this web of Edgar praying at show grounds.
      What RB & Edgar have done is worse than how Stephen was stoned after death of Jesus. Leave the apostles free.

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    • YOU NEVER KNEW SATA. SATA WASN’T GOING TO MAINTAIN THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POST. OR IS IT- THE POST WERE NOT GOING TO MAINTAIN THE RELATIONSHIP WITH SATA AND PF? SATA AND PF WERE ALWAYS GOING TO ASK THE POST TO PAY UP THE DUES TO REVENUE AUTHORITY AND THE RELATIONSHIP WAS GOING TO END AS SUCH, ANYWAY.

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    • iwe DR bukala phiri, dont drag ba SATA into your filth hate campaign simply because he dealt with you for your foolish “stand up zambia.” stop being foolish. Dr bukala phiri you are useless its BA SATA’s sweat all those you have mentioned are enjoying.

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    • This is from a true Dr., not Mbwili-mbwili, with such a black azz behind his back…I wonder whether Kabwili takes a bath.

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  1. I quote; “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.” End of quote. We have always known it as a political move.

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    • It is a political move but what has Mmembe learnt? He went way overboard with his Michael. Now he is paying for his sins. I pay the K20 now for the Post just to hear how the once mighty have fallen.

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  2. What kind of straight talk, elsewhere major companies like post pay little to no tax because of the many benefits they bring to a country like jobs , ignite the economy and provide more revenue to the country as well as diverse news and product. You foolishly shut them down and now we have lost jobs, revenue and products which lungu has miserably failed to create. Tell me how many jobs Lungu created for the masses, we barely managing to pay people on time. FRA is now telling farmers to sell their maize elsewhere. Lungu has disadvantaged himself by shutting down a paper masses read including a lot of his cadres now most of them are worried on the direction of the country . the tax case is supposed to be in arbitration but it is not which amounts to unfair treatment.

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  3. Phiri is going gud way beyond the point by calling the late ruthless. I can spot frustrations in him as he is not one of those in government today. Allow the post to swallow there pride and stupidity in peace

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    • Sata was not only ruthless he was also illiterate and a dictator.Even after his very recent demise he has been completely forgotten.That is how history treats useless pipo

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    • May be you have forgotten him. Most of us haven’t.

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  4. This not a tragedy to the Post but to the people of Zambia becoz people have lost jobs and information on current affairs on Zambia. Does the closure of the Post repay loans to ZDB and pay tax to ZRA? This is a useless statement from one who is eating from Lungu’s gravy train. U dont close a business to get it to pay outstanding tax. We know that the real reason for closing the Post was to punish it for exposing Lungu Election Rigging Plans like the registration of foreigners to vote for Lungu and the printing of extra and premarked ballots by the Dubai Printer to rig for Lungu.The exposure of these activities has undermined the use of these election rigging tools. Thru the Post we know Lungu intends to cook up election results and declare himself winner. The fact that Lungu’s Election…

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    • Masauso,
      Can’t you see that you are the only one with upsidedown thinking? Use your brains to think not your tribe

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    • I feel sorry for people like Masauso,who can just wake up and start ukusabaila without understanding anything. Stop exposing you bitterness and dullness at the same time. Read and understand what Dr Phiri is saying. It makes sense to both PF and those in opposition and it is a very objective analysis.

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  5. @Masauso. Business owners are jailed for such crimes. Closing is very lenient in my view. The man took and grade 7 drop out to state house and new with no education, he can dribble him to allow tax holidays for his newspaper. He forgot that the man has limited time on earth. So the people he victimized have power now and they will legally swallow him. Let him just pay taxes. Zambian have lost no single piece of information but are happy there is no hate from the post any more until they pay the taxes. This is a newspaper which conveniently started all sorts of business because they knew they had a dull man in state house and stopped paying taxes. So baba please use your head not your bottom

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  6. FDD – 3 man party, Nawakwi, Antonio Mwanza, Mtayachalo. Rainbow – 4 man party, Kabimba, Musumali, Mc Donald Mulongoti,and Chikwelete. UDF Miles Sampa – going concern, MMD In the wilderness, Poor people’s party Muliokela – now you see him now you don’t.PF-real contender 2016, UPND-real contender 2016, Post Newspaper- relegated by PF almost effectively drowning.

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  7. CORRECT bcoz the people pushing for it is in govt using state institutions in this case ZRA which makes it legal but not political, WRONG bcoz the figures from ZRA are not coming from the blues, if the POST had been paying tax it wud have been another issues, but the evidence on the ground is that they owe money which they have to pay. in my humble view if the post can pay the amount i dont see any gud reason why they shud be followed, ukupesha lunshi kunya apengi, let the post pay and see if this issue will continue. yes the situation wud have been very much different had the post been backing lungu but still they wud have been followups on the post, remember this case has been going on from 2009……..#JUSTPAYFRED

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  8. But someone tells me these Tax cases began way back in 2009. Unless you convince me Sata was president in 2009 otherwise Bambo Phiri is merely hallucinating!

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  9. Who ever can support Mmembe on This one ,does not mean well for zambia or simply a fool.

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  10. I hear sounds of frustration from Phiri Dr. Dr phiri you Past newspaper not to pay Tax or what? Fred mmembe must not pay tax because it is political!!!!Let him just pay the tax that when we will see that ZRA is being political chapwa

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  11. Not entirely true. If there has been brutal ,corrupt ,dictatorial and intolerant leadership is that of Edgar Lungu. The massive violence we are witnessing today is seriously created by the most hypocritical leader Zambia has ever had. The man though has some truth in his massage but he sounds so bitter because Sata made him to leave government . Sata was a good person and never aided nonsense we are witnessing today . Atleast 2 in every 5 bembas today are supporting HH because they cannot allow the current dictator to continue messing our country . Just remember that there will be payback period for the people Changwa is brutalizing

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    • Ati atleast 2 out of 5 bembas are supporting HH. And out of 5 tongas how many are supporting Pf? Ok let’s say 100 or even 1million how many are supporting Pf? You sea am saying Pf not Ecl unlike you who said HH proving a point that tongas are in these elections for HH not Upnd.

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  12. With or without the history explained by Sam, the Post has obligation to pay tax just like all of us do. Why is HH,GBM, Guy Scott, Miles not in similar position even though they belong to the same camp? The answer is simple they have conducted themselves reasonably well with regard to tax. They are too conducting business and their empires are much bigger than Mmembe small Post enterprise.
    WE TOLD MMEMBE A LONG TIME AGO. YOU SHALL PAY BACK OUR MONEY.
    Let it be a lesson for those that appear enjoying favor now. Their time will come if they do not conduct themselves properly.
    YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU SHALL NOT HIDE FROM ZAMBIA AND THE ZAMBIANS. IT BELONGS TO ALL OF US.

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  13. “…the problem with The Post is not that they owe Zambia Revenue Authority or…”

    As a premise for an ‘analysis’, nothing can be further from the truth…

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  14. Let me tell you how many people were put in state house and govent from the post…Malupenga (PS), Amos Chanda (State, house) Kabwele (First Secretary Foreign service, Do you want me to go on….? The list is endless… So Dr. Phiri is spot on!!! for reminding us…

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  15. Fred’s strategy is always based on probability and how long he can get away with it….unfortunately that involves law breaking.You know you can achieve your goals by lobbying govts.

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  16. Phiri, yours are sour grapes and you are rejoicing at the injustice meted on the innocent. For the corrupt and their minions, the innocent are alwys guilty until proven innocent. And your masters call for national prayers, which God can hear them?

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    • Check my Facebook wall for my views about national prayers and what you call my ‘masters’

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  17. Very interesting topic. The bottom line is that the relationship between MCS and Mmembe was never genuine, it was created out of striking common ground or common enemy in RB. In my opinion this was a marriage of convenience, MCS saw an opportunity to paralyse, the once vocal paper that dug deeper, that way his voyage in State House would be plain/smooth sailing. On the other hand Mmembe thought he had found his long lost big brother to shield him. In the process the Post Newspapers found favours in appointments to various organs of Government including State House, you had former Post reporters suddenly finding themselves in the corridors of power, fame some of them could not handle going by the arrogance they display. I will not be surprised if Mmembe too was offered a high position…

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  18. Yes this case started in 2009 but when Sata became president the case was stopped briefly just as Dr. Phiri has said because the Post campaigned for him of which if the post were wise should have started paying slowly but no they thought Sata will be there for them forever. This case has been there someone has just resurrected it instead of it dying a natural death as it was the wish of the post. Lungu promised us that he will collect the money owing by the post and Zambian Airways. I for one I am waiting for DBZ money to be paid also. So please someone start the ball rolling just like the taxes owed by the post.

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    • @Lemba at least your have followed the development of this saga unlike those who talking from biased emotions

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  19. The demise albeit slow started when Richard Sakala was appointed as State House press chief instead of Mmembe. Enter Mwanawasa, a loop hole emerged for Mmembe who used it to the maximum such that he managed to get ZAMBIAN Airways, stopped paying taxes, airport levies and got loans from DBZ. Ask Magande why Mmembe wanted him to succeed Mwanawasa instead of Nyamasoya Banda. He’s got more truth than anyone else.

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  20. The next thing was to influence Sata to set up the Chikopa Tribunal. This was aimed at fixing several high court judges who had crossed paths with Mmembe. Luckily our judges ensured that this kangaroo court never got out of its embryo.

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  21. Dr Phiri I do disagree with you, sir. Your boss RB was corrupt and an abuser of power far beyond the PF. He altered the constitution to facilitate such abuses, and you were part of it. The Post is a newspaper whose role is publicise what they see as interesting and relevant news. They don’t owe any government or opposition anything. If they owe money, the government has to deal with that issue in an open and unbiased manner. We know Sata might have been abrasive, but the was also open to debate and suggestion, otherwise he would not have accommodated people that called him names in his government. Your comments sulk because they sound bitter and celebratory. We need independent papers in Zambia to promote democracy. I do not care about the Post as such, but the abuse of power concern me.

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  22. Mmembe aleimbilafye icilindi umwine and the mistakes that he’s made is getting involved in politics.thats the result of being not professional.
    fyakuifwaila no simpatico ***** Mmembe

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  23. This is one heck of a topic that I have enjoyed both in terms of Dr Phiri’s submission and comments from the contributors here. You guys are great. I like the comment about the beast now feasting on the carcass and a comment which called that beast a “LILOMBAMEMA” meaning the mystical mermaid used by witches to terrorize others. Only that we (including I THE WARLORD) tend to be clouded by political persuasions and at times miss the point. Dr Phiri has made his points well and some of them are unassailable while others are debatable. Most of the commentators on his article have made serious observations and their points are philosophical in part. Reader beware.

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  24. I like the conclusion
    “The post were wrong…and what is happening today is wrong”.Seriously I respect this man s objectivity given that he is a victim of the lion the post fed.Compare this to the f00l that never grows called Richard Sakala.He is busy cheering on suppression of the press forgetting that a simple change of government will put him squarely in Mmembe s shoes.

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    • Well Richard Sakala, a person I don’t care for, is only doing tit for tat. He was persecuted by M’Membe and you were not there to help him. He fought on his own. There are many people who have been mistreated by that thug of a writer called Fred and people have turned a blind eye thus they are bitter. Allow them to vent.

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  25. Mailon for the post to be fighting with ZRA is just the same as fighting with all Zambians for the money owing belongs to Zambians. As for Richard Sakala why should the new government come and harass him if he is biding by the law? The post 1. they think they are also a government it not why should they refuse to pay tax when every one is paying? They think Mmembe is also a president of Zambia whom we should be fearing all of us. From the word go why did he not negotiate with ZRA the mode of payment but no he kept on dragging the issue in the courts of law, what kind of a person is he? You know what Zambians I think this Mmembe chinkula chamenene a meno pamulu. He has even dragged the church in his misdeeds, what a Nonsense

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  26. This Dr Phiri is a fool and a very frustrated individual because he has no job and he is not in government, so he is broke and saying nonsense now. Why would he thinks ok for post not to pay money they ZRA even if the post was in good terms with sata or in bad terms with ECL?

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    • Mwiponta Mukabwela: Me frustrated? Not at all! I have a better paying job than I had in Govt in 2011. Immediately Sata fired me, I left the country for a Senior position at Africa University in Zimbabwe where I was being paid in US dollars. Now I work somewhere along GER and enjoy my job VERY MUCH. If you read what I said on my Facebook Wall with an open mind, you would realise that I was not advocating for The Post NOT to pay tax. That was not the issue under discussion. As to whether I am a fool, that is an opinion and you are entitled to.

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  27. Mwiponta Mukabwela: To the contrary, I have a full-time relatively well-paying job at UNZA. Shortly after I was fired from Govt in 2011, I got a senior job at Africa University in Zimbabwe and later joined UNZA. I enjoy what I am doing now, much more than the Govt job. Broke? Not at all! A fool? You are entitled to your own opinion.

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  28. Dr. Phiri if what is quoted of you is really true about what you said about Mr. Sata, then you are incompetent and full of ….! Sata is one of the best presidents we ever had! The current development we see stems from the visionary leadership of Michael! Please do not mislead people! I worked with the man and I know what I am talking about!

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  29. Who removed the leadership code and sold Zamtel? Who used to get money from the mines? Ukutumpa Ka Phiri!

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  30. Sam,

    You blew it by your vitriolic attack on Mr. Sata who is not here to defend himself. Mind you a lot of people still have a very strong attachment to Mr. Sata and credit him with much of the infrastructural developments currently taking place. You should also know that people haven’t forgotten your association with Chanda Chimba’s infamous attacks on Mr. Sata on ZNBC. If I were you I would take a low profile rather than go public and display such unvarnished bitterness. I find your attitude a trifle embarrassing for a university don.

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