Zambia: Opposition leader demands apology, retraction of story by Times of Zambia

Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Opposition leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema, has demanded for an immediate retraction of an article published by the state-run Times of Zambia in which the UPND leader was quoted using tribal remarks.

Hichilema, who is demanding for the retraction within 24 hours, warned that failure by the paper to do so, will result in remedial action.

The Sunday Times (a sister paper of the Times of Zambia) quoted Hichilema as having blasted a traditional leader in Southern Province, a UPND stronghold, for hosting Davies Chama, Secretary General of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).

The article alleged that Hichilema, who hails from Southern Province, blasted Chieftainess Mweenda of Chikantanta in Southern Province for welcoming PF Secretary General Davies Chama, a northerner and Bemba by tribe, and taking time to speak to him in Bemba.

“And in a well orchestrated move, this is the same newspaper that was used against us in the January elections who quoted Bishop Chomba as alleging that we are involved in underground evil things, the matter that is still in courts of law,” Hichilema said.

“It is really low thinking and utterly childish to hope to remain in national leadership through dividing our peaceful people using government propaganda through the so called fictitious and imaginary sources.

“We do not appreciate Chama’s limited thinking and his awkward way of looking at citizens only in terms of ethnicity, going by his recent and continued derogatory remarks against other groupings,” Hichilema stated.

He challenged journalists from government media to also give space to the opposition as well and be professional enough by getting the views from the people you are being used to insult and demean.

“We call on journalists to be mindful and never be used in such issues as any litigation we are taking will also affect their professional careers and reputation permanently,” Hichilema said.

The UPND leader bemoaned that while the PF leadership are being given all the space to travel around the country, including Chama’s recent tour of Southern Province, the opposition are being teargassed, beaten and severely restricted by the biased police and PF thugs.

He said the opposition’s travels are being hampered by the archaic Public Order Act, thereby limiting them from explaining their positions to Zambians across the country, ahead of the 2016 general elections.
-0- PANA MM/VAO 28Dec2015

28 december 2015 14:42:25

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