Saturday, April 17, 2010

MMD can’t be trusted on anything, says Syakalima

MMD can’t be trusted on anything, says Syakalima
By Ernest Chanda
Sat 17 Apr. 2010, 03:40 CAT

SIAVONGA UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima has charged that the MMD government is full of crooks who cannot be trusted on anything.

Reacting to information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha’s insistence that the government still preferred statutory regulation of the media to self-regulation, Syakalima said the government had wasted media practitioners’ time by allowing them to develop a self-regulatory framework.

He said it was disheartening that a government, which claimed to have respect for media freedom, could turn around overnight.

“Some of us have always said that we cannot sit and talk with someone who we know will suddenly turn around and change their mind. That is the character of people in the MMD government. MMD is full of crooks that cannot be trusted for anything; and nobody should ever sit down with them and discuss anything.

They will sit with you when they realise that the situation is hot for them, just to pacify the situation. And when the situation cools down, they turn around against you,” Syakalima said.

“First of all they allowed you the media to labour in developing your own self-regulatory mechanism. You’ve had conferences; some of you had travelled around the world for consultation on the same. All those were resources you spent on this issue. And now Shikapwasha turns around and tells you that they will go ahead and regulate you despite the efforts you have made in trying to regulate yourselves. What nonsense is this? The MMD have been in government for 20 years, 20 years of crookedness. Can’t they just change for once?”

Syakalima urged Zambians never to trust the MMD government on anything they promised.

“Isn’t it enough damage this government has done to the economy of this country? Look at our social sector, what is there to inspire the people of Zambia? They have literally destroyed every institution in this country.

And now they want to put the final nail on the media so that you don’t expose their corruption. They want us to be treated to the same nonsense their institutions like the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and ZNBC write everyday.

Let me ask the people of Zambia never to trust the MMD government on anything. They are basically a bunch of crooks that can never be taken serious on anything. I can assure you that if they bring this bill to parliament we shall fight it until it bleeds to death.”

Early this week, Lt Gen Shikapwasha issued a statement that the government still preferred statutory regulation of the media.

This was not withstanding the fact that the media have advanced in developing self-regulatory mechanism that has also seen the formation of the Zambia Media Council, which is due to be launched next month on the World Press Freedom Day.

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