State House Chief Communications Specialist, Clayson Hamasaka, has issued a statement refuting allegations that the First Lady of Zambia, Muntinta Hichilema, owns a mine in the Mkushi region. In his statement, Hamasaka stated:
“There is a false and malicious media report alleging that the First Lady Madam Mutinta Hichilema owns a mine in Mkushi…False and malicious in the sense that the First Lady Mrs. Hichilema does not own any mine anywhere, not even under proxies.”
Hamasaka went on to describe the First Lady as “largely reserved and conservative” and “content with what she has always been before becoming the First Lady”. He added that “being materialistic and throwing her privileged position around to acquire wealth such as owning a mine, is out of her character.”
Hamasaka expressed concern over the conduct of the media that published the story, stating:
“When I first saw the news clip, I thought it was one of those social media concoctions where someone just made up a report and falsely attributed it to a radio station…In my more than 25 years of journalism training and practice, it is a bare minimum requirement for a journalist to balance stories by giving an opportunity to the accused to equally give their side of the story.”
He further stated that “reckless reporting without due regards to professional ethics and standards” is regrettable, and urged media houses to uphold professional standards in their reporting. He warned that such baseless accusations could cause public discontent and hatred against the First Family and the government at large.
Hamasaka reminded the media that the president has been emphasizing the need for freedom of expression and letting the media operate in a free environment, but this should not be a license for reckless reporting. He called on media houses to verify their information before publishing stories that could damage the reputation of individuals and institutions.
In conclusion, Hamasaka reiterated that the First Lady does not own a mine in Mkushi, and he called on the media to verify their information before publishing stories that could damage the reputation of individuals and institutions. He warned that such baseless accusations could cause public discontent and hatred against the First Family and the government at large.