President Lungu’s special assistant for Press and Public relations Amos Chanda has said that he is currently ashamed to be associated with a profession that can tell blatant lies for the express purpose of damaging the country’s reputation.
Speaking when he featured on ZNBC’s Sunday Interview with Grevazio Zulu, Mr Chanda expressed utter dismay and sadness that some publications such as New Vision, and in an apparent reference to News Diggers, have failed to uphold one of the strongest beliefs and ethics of journalism; TRUTH!
Mr Chanda noted that a politically motivated hatred and envy of President Edgar Lungu and his government was the baseline of the publications and hence their continuous resolve to push malicious falsehoods.
“A newspaper driven by political motives, gets a document planted on it because of their collective hatred, envy, they are disgusted that this political party is in power they drive an agenda as dirty as that,” Chanda said. Mr Chanda went on to wonder how individuals from the said publications sleep at night after peddling lies.
“We are worried when someone can just wake up and concoct lies and put them in a newspaper. It must worry us but more especially it should worry the liars who are waking up just for the express purpose of damaging the reputation of the country, they do not realise the presidency is an institution,” he said.
“You can throw as many insults as you want at the President but when you are seated in the hearts of heart alone, you must attempt to listen to your inner voice and say, is it logical, is this correct?”
Mr Chanda went on to question the type of society being created that even when glared with the truth can not apologies.
“We are worried when senseless accusations come out because what kind of society are we creating? Where you just wake up because you do not like Grevazio Zulu and say he has bought 20 houses when in fact he has not,” Mr Chanda said.
“Look at the moral decay, newspapers occupy a central position in public awareness and political education. You have a newspaper like the Vision who put up a lie and not just in their paper, they lie in the name of a respected publication, Forbes; that the President has 400 million and shares in scania.”
“He does not have that 400 million, he has no investments in scania and neither did Forbes publish that.”
Mr Chanda however, observed that the PF government under President Lungu was a decent government and instead of moving a criminal proceedings hoped the publication would have the morality to apologise and retract it’s false writings.
“We are talking about national values and principles it should be sufficient when you are called out that can you retract because that is not true you do so: this is four weeks and they have not… these are the things offending public morals,” he observed.
Mr Chanda reiterated his position that President Lungu has never taken a boat cruise or hired a cargo ship to ferry his shopping which goes against News Diggers screaming headlines of careless spending undertaken by the head of state during a trip to China and New York.
“I was explaining that the President has never been on a boat cruise, not just in New York but anywhere else he has never been and you publish that. It is not true that there was a cargo ship hired to carry the shopping,” he said.
“When you are called out like that, as a newspaper you must have the decency to say sorry and retract… It is just malicious, I can tell you because I was in New York.”
He recollected and advised that newspapers need to be at the forefront to project values of truth.
And when queried what his comment would be if the said publications insist on saying their position is correct Mr Chanda said:
“We will review our relationship with them because we know that is not true and these are the things that undermine national cohesion, decency and collectively you and I must be ashamed that we belong to the same profession with people who can tell blatant lies, that even when you are reminded it’s not true can go home and sleep and have a cup of tea.”
Mr Chanda mocked at the people creating these falsehoods about the President and the state of the nation saying they had too much time on their hands.
“So you have got a lot of people with a lot of pass time, time which they have no use for… A season of nonsense is just upon us… people who if they have time just use it to malign politician A, politician B or a person in government,” Mr Chanda said.
“If I was not in court with one of them I was going to give you the experience of lies, I was going to use that anecdotal experience.”