Friday, July 02, 2010

Shikapwasha exposed his ignorance over Rwanda genocide talk– Wina

Shikapwasha exposed his ignorance over Rwanda genocide talk– Wina
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 02 July 2010, 04:01 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) national chairperson Inonge Wina yesterday said it is embarrassing for information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha to expose his ignorance on the Rwanda genocide to the outside world.

Commenting on Rhodes University Professor Jane Duncan’s observation that Lieutenant General Shikapwasha misrepresented facts on the Rwandan genocide, Wina said the expose was very embarrassing especially that Lt Gen Shikapwasha was the chief government spokesperson.

She said a person of Lt Gen Shikapwasha’s standing should check facts before issuing important statements.

“It is extremely important that he is briefed on the statements that he makes because whatever statement he makes, he makes it on behalf of Zambia, Zambian government and Zambian people. So to be exposed by people who are knowledgeable in the subject the minister comments on, I think it’s embarrassing,” Wina observed.

“It is a very embarrassing expose. I think our ministers should be conversant with the facts, particularly if they have to comment on issues happening in other countries, in the region or internationally.”

She said it was very important that the government spokesperson should have the accurate information that he has to give to the people of Zambia and to the region.

Wina said it was clear that Lt Gen Shikapwasha had no knowledge of what he was talking about.

“The Rwanda genocide cannot be compared to what the media practitioners are asking for in this country. The genocide in Rwanda was not promoted by the private media. We all know that the state media had a very big role to play in promoting the ideas of suppressing the views of others, and not only that, of targeting certain ethnic groups in the country to be eliminated,” Wina said.

“So really the government media played a vital role in promoting this. They had the facilities. They had the power and authority to incite the public owned media to broadcast, to print, to say all sorts of things that were directed to annihilate this ethnic group.”

Wina said it was sad that the government was trying to intimidate the media in the country and those who were speaking for it.

She said the genocide in Rwanda had left a black mark on the development of human rights.

“And the least we talk about or referring to such incidences in our history, the better for the future of the continent. Let’s be positive. Let’s talk about things that unite people, that lessen the tensions between tribes in order to promote peace in our country and in the region,” said Wina.

Professor Duncan revealed that media practitioners from different countries on Tuesday told Lt Gen Shikapwasha that he had misrepresented facts on the real cause of the Rwanda genocide.

Speaking when she and other media practitioners from different countries in Africa and Europe visited Post editor Fred M’membe to offer solidarity on Tuesday, Prof Duncan said Lt Gen Shikapwasha continually pointed out during their earlier meeting with him that the media should be regulated to avoid the Rwanda situation.

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