File picture:Ambassador Mukwita visit to DW and speaking at recent embassy event.

Zambia’s Ambassador to Germany Anthony Mukwita has cautioned foreign media against using ‘pedestrian’ experts that make alarming and damaging statements about Zambia on their programmes as they often lack or possess no facts to validate their claims.

Ambassador Mukwita has also advised interviewers to challenge guests that make allegations with the potential to injure a country’s image to demonstrate the basis of their claims.

The senior diplomat was reacting to an interview German television DW conducted with a Chiponda Chimbelu that discussed the question of Konkola Copper Mines, KCM and the legal actions taken by the Zambian government.

Mr. Chimbelu believed to be a Zambian by origin claimed the Zambian government was cash-strapped hence the reason it commenced action to liquidate KCM, as a shareholder contrary to the facts given by President Edgar Lungu when he announced the legal route.

This is not the first time DW is quoiting an ‘off side’ toxic analyst regarding important Zambian issues without seeking a Zambian comment from the embassy in Berlin or indeed Lusaka.

Recently another DW story in which they were quoting Nick Branson identified as a Senior Africa Analyst at Verisk Maplecroft went on air without the side of the Zambian government as required by basic journalism standards.

Ambassador Mukwita said such remarks smack of ‘an agenda’ intended to control and direct the narrative, adding, “they are also misleading, inflammatory and injurious to Zambia’s international image.”

Given the seriousness of the remarks, the senior diplomat said basic standards of fairness in journalism demanded that the views are balanced with a voice from Zambia’s government.

“It is now common practice on many international media platforms to check allegations made against facts. We see this happen often on CNN as a way of protecting viewers against the injury that arises from misleading statements. If these standards are applied when allegations are being made against western governments, why are not similar standards applied when dealing with an African story? Are we any less important or any less human?”, Ambassador Mukwita asked.

‘’Zambia has consistently maintained a single digit inflation, a growth rate close to 4 percent, an external debt of 10billion dollars in a 20 billion and more economy with growth in the mining, manufacturing, energy and ICT sectors”, Ambassador Mukwita said, and added, “and we still service our debt as evidenced by the more than 700million dollars we paid in debt servicing at the end of 2018”.

Ambassador Mukwita said the Zambian government has in the past only borrowed for production and not consumption as can be seen through the sprouting of infrastructure countrywide.

The Ambassador said Zambia has adopted measures intended to run the affairs of the country smoothly during financially challenging times.

“The Zambian government took a calculated risk when it took on public works that we have spent so much money on. Each one of these works was absolutely necessary as public infrastructure needed for any meaningful activity was crumbling at the time the current government assumed power. This is the story the so-called experts being paraded in international media studios do not know or are purposely ignoring”, Ambassador Mukwita said.

He dismissed as farfetched and imaginary the conclusion that government decided to take over the operations of KCM to raise money to pay debts saying the action was taken to forestall the perennial poor management of the company by Vedanta Resources.

Ambassador Mukwita further dismissed the notion of a looming nationalisation of the mining sector saying there was no such policy by the government of President Edgar Lungu saying, “such a policy exists only in the minds of pedestrian commentators.”

The Zambian envoy recently visited DW at their Berlin offices and met Director General Peter Limbourg who was in the company of Managing Director Ms. Gelder Moyer, Head of Africa Programs Mr. Claus Stacker and Media and Public Affairs Officer Mr. Benjamin Rietdorf.

In the company of embassy press officer Kellys Kaunda, Ambassador Mukwita raised concern over recent media reports on Zambia that carried no official government comment. He told them that his office was open for comment on matters that involve the Zambian government. A few days after this meeting, DW conducted a phone interview that largely centred on ZNBC and Star Times. Whether that interview ran or not is unknown to the embassy.

Issued in Berlin by Kellys Kaunda
First Secretary – Press and Public Relations. Zambia Embassy ; Germany

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Ok no more news, go home LT. Every time you run out of money you bring up either the pedetrain embassador Mukwita or Mwamba.

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    • Anthony Mukwita, just shut up. You cannot lecture German Television Network DW reporting ethics. Unlike ZNBC, DW is a reputable media institution.

      Point that which Chiponda Chimbelu said which his wrong. Baseless and hopeless condemnation of Chiponda without factual basis will not help matters.

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    • Does ZNBC tv care to seek comment from the opposition whn Edwin Lifwekelo makes one-sided attacks on them? What about Amos Chanda’ s tirades against opposition? Why doesn’t ZNBC seek comment from those on the receiving end? Are opposition leaders in Zambia not human beings?

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  2. This is what to individuals when it’s their first time to drive an automobile machine, they will start acting like pedestrians are not part of the road system. What’s wrong with tax paying citizens to talk on economic and social matters of our country?

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    • Thriving on our ignorance, it’s about time the dominance of our society or system by the elite is stop by a revolution.
      Watch “How ED Mnangagwa abducted, Injected and then Called Tinashe Jonasi For A Meeting” on YouTube

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  3. Pedestrians are on the ground and what they give is real information (raw data, unedited facts). We are in the position we found ourselves in due to people who think they are more Zambian than others.

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  4. You, Mukwita if you think pedestrians hove no knowledge to what is taking place in Zambia, you are wrong. Listen during campaigns you put the voters to be more knowledgeable than you who seek for votes

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  5. The test of freedom of expression is in accept different views. The different views can come from any free individual or entity. It is unethical to denounce persons who express different views different from the originator. The only way forward is to allow different views to coexist. In the KCM issue, there is reason to question the motives, implications, coincidences or such other forms of thinking. What is the role of IDC in this saga? What is the role ZDA in this saga? What is the role of the judicature in this saga? What is the role of international arbitration in this saga? Is private property sacrosanct or not in the country? Is investment safe and sound in the country? Economic growth, development and prosperity come at a price. Sometimes negotiations are better than confrontation.

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  6. I’m amazed that a journalist would issue such an anti-journalism statement. Do Zambian journalists know what their profession stands for? Do they know that as journalists they are advocates for those who have no voice? I’m sorry they don’t because they spend their entire career picking up political speeches and writing articles from that crap. No wonder all of them become enemies of their colleagues once they are appointed to political office

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    • KUWAYAWAYAFYE!!
      These “Belly [email protected]’z” forget where they come from once they are given some comfort, & spare change to buy Pimp suits, by their Masters.
      Just like chi Kambwili, this P.F Demagogue Mwikuta, will run @ full speed to the same media he’s castigating, once he’s no longer eating from the ruling party high table.
      THESE GOONS NEVER LEARN, AS THE BELLY RATHER THAN THE BRAIN IS USED FOR REASONING!

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  7. This guy tends to be too loud for my liking. These are the people H.E ECL should have never considered for foreign deployment as they make more sense being part of the audience chanting slogans

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    • Jona LOVES praise singers to massage his fraudster ego, whilst surrounding himself with laughing jester’s like Sikazwe, to make him laugh all the time, & forget the worries linked to the consequences of what will happen when he’s out of office.
      In meantime Zambia is quickly diving into Junk Toilet status!

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  8. So this Mukwita guy thinks European and American journalism is like ZNBC where the government controls what journalists put on news at 19:00hrs. In the western world, journalist will say whatever they want as long as it’s been approved by their boss. Journalists in the western world are only guided by the law not an individual in government. look Mr. Mukwita, no sensible journalist will care to ask for your side of the story when they know whatever they want to write will paint a bad image of you and they have a source who gave them the information. They know that once they put it on the news, you will follow them to their newsroom to try and do some damage control and that’s exactly what you did.

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