Monday, May 20, 2024

News Diggers Defiantly Responds to Information Minister Dora Siliya

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News Diggers Newspaper has written to Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya acknowledging receipt of her letter dated 12 June 2020 in which she as Minister of Information and Broadcasting expressed concern over what she termed as the use of derogatory word “Stupid” in the newspaper editorial comments.

Managing Director Joseph Mwenda expressed gratitude to the Minister that she reached out to the Newspaper to express her concern and to offer her advice on behalf of the government.

Mr Mwenda said dialogue is extremely important between the ministry that she heads and media houses.

“Honourable minister, you particularly picked the word “stupid” as being unacceptable to the PF government. We find it strange that the ministry missed the press conference by the Lusaka Province Minister Mr Bowman Lusambo who referred to the youths who commented on bad governance as “stupid”, “disgruntled”, “naked” and “nonsensical”, among other words”, said Mr Mwenda.

“For ease of reference, we quote just one paragraph from Mr Lusambo’s briefing: “I want to urge Kings Malembe Malembe, I want to urge
the Cameraman (Chellah Tukuta), I want to urge B-flow and his team that can you desist from bringing the name of thw country, the name of government into disrepute”. This is the stupidity of the highest level, and we are not going to allow this here in Lusaka Province.

“I want to urge Kings Malembe Malembe that I am giving him 24 hours to apologize to the President for releasing those stinking nonsense…As Minister for Lusaka Province, I can assure these boys that they are too naked to misbehave!… It is now a fashion to some of these disgruntled youths to advise the President using social media, not in Lusaka Province, that is lawlessness!” We wonder why we have not heard of any reprimand of the Lusaka Province Minister for calling the youths who were expressing themselves on governance issuesas “stupid”.

Mr Mwenda said he cannot imagine that a Minister of Ms Siliyas caliber and political acumen would fail to appreciate the fact that News Diggers was merely quoting the words “stupid” as used by the Honourable Minister of Lusaka.

He has questioned why Ms Siliya would suggesr that News Diggers has opened itself to attacks from the youths for the perceived use of
derogatory language when she did not see the need for the same youths to retaliate against Mr Lusambo when he used the same words complained about.

Mr Mwenda has questioned why as minister in charge of information dissemination, she didn’t see anything wrong with Mr Lusambo’s threats on people‘s liberties and freedom of expression.

He said the newspaper does not think Ms Siliya expect them to apologise for quoting the words that were used used by her fellow minister.

Mr Mwenda said he however find that the motive of Ms Siliyas letter was to incite youths to attack News Diggers if the newspaper does not apologise.

He said this is a deliberate invitation on the youths to kneel on their necks until the newspaper suffocate like George Floyd.

Mr Mwenda said this is obviously motivated by the fact that their organization has remained resilient in keeping the PF government accountable.

“It appears to us that after the demise of Prime TV, the government has placed News Diggers as next on the agenda for closure, and it hopes the youths can do the needful.

News Diggers has not called anyone “stupid”, we only quoted what the Minister of Lusaka said and therefore, if anyone has to apologise, it should be Mr Lusambo, not us.

But even assuming that we did originate the use of the word complained about, there is no way that you, as a minister who should care about press freedom, would incite cadres tovattack a news organization”, he said.

Mr Mwenda said it is strange that as a Minister who was condemning the PF attacks on Iso FM radio in Muchinga Province last month, she can now suggest that it would be justifiable for youths to attack News Diggers.

He said any attacks on the Newspaper will be treated as government-sponsored at the instigation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

“Honourable Minister,you say media houses in Zambia are not advocacy institutions. We say, minus one! News Digger is, in fact, an advocacy institution and it is part of our core values to advocate for good governance, press freedom and freedom of expression among other constitutionally guaranteed liberties”, added Mr Mwenda.

He said his Newspaper newspaper is at war against corruption, abuse of office and any tendencies that threaten Zambias cherished democratic
space.

He said while there might be a burning desire by the Minister or other persons unknown, toclose down News Diggers for the critical role it has continued to play in exposing bad governance, politicians must be reminded that government positions are not permanent.

“Sooner or later, their time in office will end and they will need the same media houses that they now so desperately wish to close down, as platforms for airing their grievances. In view of what we have explained above, our newspaper is not in a position to issue an apology”, he said.

“But we appreciate your effort to write to us, and expressing your interpretation of our editorial opinion, skewed as it may be. We here now throw back the challenge to you to call on the youths to desist from attacking News Diggers or any other media house, if you truly and patriotically, as a journalist, stand for media freedom”, he said.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Lungu is so DULL to see that the same way Dora and Lusambo sunk MMD is the same way they are sinking PF. Come time of reckoning Lusambo will even save his skin by becoming a state witness against the same Lungu he his praising today…

    At that time the King will be standing alone with no clothes….

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  2. DORA IS SO OBSESSED WITH THREATENING AND CLOSING THE PRIVATE MEDIA. COME ON, GET OVER IT. THIS A DEMOCRACY, PATRONAGE AND BULLYING HAS NO PLACE IN PROMOTING AND DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH STANDARDS OF LIVING.

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  3. It is you who is inciting the youth. Mr BL was referring to those three youths. He never said all youths in Zambia. You say you quoted BL’s exactly words, let me ask you a question. If someone insult your parents by naming their private parts, are going to tell your parents the exact words? I believe you won’t. Am also surprise instead of defending your paper, you have gone into politics, talking about things which don’t concern you. The Closer of Prime Tv. My advize, stick to your lane. Don’t talk too much. You will suffer alone. Today, people have forgotten the Post Newpaper. Don’t cry if they Pounce on you. All these people who are encouraging you will disappear. Don’t be a hero.

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  4. Mmmm….dont see any defiancein the response..
    Very misleading headline.
    Diggers quoted lusamba and now you are telling diggers that they are using bad language? How illogical. We know you are simply looking for an excuse to close down diggers news because they are an indeoendent objective news outlet
    We have seen how the pf caders on this blog have called diggers an “opposition funded newspaper”, even thought diggers criticises UPND just as they do pf.
    Mwenda is courageous, mature and objective. But what we will see shortly will be diggers news under attack.

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  5. The major issue was whether the concept of ‘stupidity’ was utilized in the right way by News Diggers online newspaper.The reply is that the concept of ‘stupidity’ was used in a violent manner. It was used in an aggressive manner. It was used in an offensive manner. To the extent that the concept was used for the wrong purpose, then the concept needed to be withdrawn with an apologies to offended parties. There was no need to engage polemics and counter arguments in defense of abusive language. Insults are not good journalism. By making reference to another government official, New Diggers was dodging the real issue. The answer was yes or no. Involving another government official was irrelevant. Logic and reason form the basis of responsible dialogue. News Diggers was misled but at…

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  6. By making reference to another government official, New Diggers was dodging the real issue. The answer was yes or no. Involving another government official was irrelevant. Logic and reason form the basis of responsible dialogue. News Diggers was misled but at least take responsibility for being misled. Adulthood and maturity does not leave room for following the wrong example. Take time to write good investigative stories. Take to time formulate arguments with peers. Two wrongs do not make a right.

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  7. Now Dora like any citizen has the right to report this to IBA. These dull diggers have no clue that lusambo is not a journalist or media agent who is accountable to IBA. When IBA strike these proud chimps we dony want to hear people crying ati tell lungu to pardon them. Let’s wait and see

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  9. QUOTE: As Minister for Lusaka Province, I can assure these boys that they are too naked to misbehave!…

    WHY IS IT THAT IN ZAMBIA WHEN ONE HAS POLITICAL CONNECTIONS , THERE IS THIS KA MENTALITY OF UNIZIBA INE, DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? THEN THEY WILL START PLAYING WITH THEIR PHONE SHOWING YOU PHONE NUMBERS OF POLITICIANS OR THOSE IN HIGH GOVT POSITIONS, SOMETIMES I JUST LAUGH MUNO CHALO CHESU MWABA AMACHINCHI BANE.

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  10. Point of correction Mr Mwenda, Lusambo said “….The camela man and not cameraman…” thats critical to note

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  11. days are numbered , we have all the information we need especially for those who think are playing a smart game..

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  12. Does IBA regulate the print media? Not as far as I know. If a supposed presidential advisor doesn’t know that, wht does it say about Zambia?

  13. SHE THINKS THE ARMADILLO ATTIRE WILL PROTECT HER FROM PUBLIC RIDICULE,LET HER APOLOGIZE FOR REQUESTING AN APOLOGY, THESE MMD REINCARNATIONS ALL HAVE ONE LANGUAGE …….. APOLOGIZE, NI DIGGERS YA A ANYOKO?

  14. Looks like Ms Silly Yeah came out of quarantine prematurely. News Diggers have exposed her lack of comprehension of the English language. To make simple for you to understand ‘ DIGGERS JUST WERE JUST REPEATING DISHONOURABLE LUSAMBO’S ALLUCINATIONS’. Word of advice ‘PLEASE TAKE LUSAMBO WITH YOU BACK INTO QUARANTINE’

  15. Ati shani apo fellow bloggers. Ala I have been having a bout of insomia over the past few days so apa ndenwa fye ka lager to see if it can knock me to sleep tonight. Ba diggers your reply is a bit arrogant, I mean in Zambia vulgar language is not encouraged in the media, just a culture thing. Anyway I hope uyu Dora shows you leniency coz from what I see, your ship will soon be sinking. Where I am there is no media freedom, twalibelela. I had a conversation with HH, I advised him to hold a youth convention at Mulungushi conference center to engage the youths on his economic policies cardinal among which will be to outline how he will solve the employment issue. I think PF has tried but a lot of divisions in the Country, people don’t like this leadership. I hope PF can give a chance to…

  16. News Diggers must apologise if they know what’s best for them. No need for the petty politics.

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  17. Look at how Pf thugs are panicking. And this foolish man KAIZA Zulu is everywhere spying on people who are talking negative about pf corrupt government.

  18. The response from News Diggers shows the extent of illiteracy among social media platforms of Zambia. It all went back and forth and round and around and now there is a suggestion the govt/Lusambo apologise for making a GENERAL STATEMENT ON THE NATURE OF BEHAVIOUR EXHIBITED by so called Zambian Youths or their representatives.

    It’s totally unacceptable to directly target His Excellency and his Ministers with foul mouthed language when they are only carrying out their democratic duty. There has been a lot of derogatory language and illogical hallucinations on how the so called Youths will remove the democratically elected govt of Zambia. It’s not just derogatory language, but violent threats and nasty unproven allegations of theft. ALL THESE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE NOTHING MORE…

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  19. ALL THESE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN OPPOSITION MOUTHPIECES. It’s clear the modus operandi is to provoke and move the govt to take action to which they respond as ‘removal of freedom of speech.’.

    This cat and mouse game is getting old.

    The govt is The Ruler of the country and can indeed call you Stupid if you are being so. The Youths of Social Media imaginations are NOT the real Youths of Zambia. Social Media must publish in accordance with Publishing Laws. It’s not freedom of speech to publish libelous material as news containing malicious defamatory allegations. It’s not also correct to cyberbully by Fat Shaming, bed setting shaming etc all ugly unsavory derogatory bullying and harassments.

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  20. News diggers better tread carefully becoz we still need you in the run up and up to the elections. Don’t fall into the trap they are planning for you. Leave such to seer 1 because at least him they can’t touch.

  21. IF A PERSON TRIES TO ATTACK YOU WITH A WEAPON AND YOU GRAB THAT WEAPON AND ATTACK HIM WITH IT, THEN YOU HAVE ACTE IN SELF-DEFENCE. SO WHAT IS THE MINI-STAR COMPLAINING ABOUT IF THE WORD STUPID WAS FIRST USED BY HER FELLOW MINISTER? IF YOU INSULT A YOUNGSTER AND IN REPLY HE SAYS “NAIWE CHAMENE ICHO,” WOULD YOU SAY HE HAS INSULTED YOU? THE ANSWER IS “NO!” BECAUSE WHATEVER HE HAS SAID OR DONE COMES FROM THE FACT THAT HE IS A VICTIM OF YOUR ATTACK. THEREFORE DORA MUST LEAVE DIGGERS ALONE!!

  22. How can any ‘sane’ person side with Dora’s persecution of the media? Including @Dr Makasa Kasonde? Even if it had not been a quote, ‘stupid’ is not an insult. Merely means not acting intelligently or being dull. Clearly, this is another endeavour to shut down remaining voices that challenge the PF governments numerous breaches of rights and freedoms.

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