Statehouse has said that the story on Zambia Reports published this morning captioned “Lungu breathes fire on Catholics,” is simply false as neither the President nor his spokesperson have made any such statements anywhere.
In a press statement released to the media today, State House said that it has taken this unprecedented step to react to a false social media story published by the Zambia Reports, alleging that the President has threatened the Catholic Church in Zambia because a real possibility exists that the falsehood that has been published by Zambia Reports may be construed by the unsuspecting public to be the truth.
STATE HOUSE REFUTES ZAMBIA REPORTS FAKE STORY
LUSAKA, (Thursday, April 27, 2017)—— In the light of the poisoned media environment where unprofessional practices have become rampant, State House has taken this unprecedented step to react to a false social media story published by the Zambia Reports alleging that the President has threatened the Catholic Church in Zambia.
The story on Zambia Reports published this morning captioned “Lungu breathes fire on Catholics,” is simply false as neither the President nor his spokesperson have made any such statements anywhere.
The President has taken note of the Statement issued by Lusaka Diocese Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu and will in due course engage with Church mother bodies to discuss any matter of national concern.
The President takes the view that he will speak to the Church, traditional rulers civil society and various other interest groups to discuss matters of national interest and would therefore not be breathing fire on anybody.
“Ordinarily it is not the culture of State House to respond to any social media stories however false, but given the fairly objective disposition Zambia Reports have shown over the years, a real possibility exists that the falsehood it has published today may be construed by the unsuspecting public to be the truth.”
“It is with considerable regret that State House has noted the rapid descent of the Zambia Reports into a virtue scandal sheet and platform for conveyance of falsehoods.”
State House wishes to urge Editors of Zambia Reports to exercise caution and take advantage of the open door policy of the Press Office to clarify any information regarding the Presidency before they publish.
“When parties, either public or private assert their rights to protect themselves against the reckless conduct by some media outlets and others, the same people resort to making scurrilous allegations that those defending themselves are being heavy handed.”
State House emphasises that words must have a meaning and every action must have consequences, and therefore every citizen has a duty to conduct themselves responsibly and realise that their rights are just as important as the rights of others.
“It is a shame that a fairly respected online newspaper has shown a steady decline in recent months and allowed itself to be used as a platform to communicate falsehoods, insults, hate speech and pursuit of narrow and personal political interest of either its owners or other special interests.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
(PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS)