Monday, November 01, 2010
By George Chellah
Mon 01 Nov. 2010, 04:01 CAT
PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda is now a casualty of his own lies because of his desire for praise, George Mpombo has said. And Mpombo has also charged that State House has become a cheap political and intellectual plagiarism factory.
Commenting on Transparency International's (TI) denial of ever praising President Banda for setting a good example in the fight against corruption as recently claimed by State House special assistant for press and public relations Dickson Jere, Mpombo said the revelations made very sad reading.
“It’s both politically and morally unacceptable that State House through Mr Jere can stoop so low as to engage in cheap political and intellectual plagiarism just to shore up the declining political fortunes of the President,” Mpombo said. “The action to over-dramatise a lie amounts to a complete theatre of absurdity. State House has become a cheap political and intellectual plagiarism factory, which is a shame. State House is now a den of lies, deceit, mellow drama and all sorts of negative political gymnastics.
“I want to refer them to what Herbert Clark Hoover said: 'when there is a lack of honour in government, the morals of the people are poisoned'. What this means is that if State House is going to weave a web of lies in order to deceive the people, obviously that is sending a dangerous message in terms of character and integrity of the President.”
He said the falsehood that State House has peddled had left a gaping hole in the integrity of the Presidency.
“And it has left a serious political blemish on the image of the country because this action amounts to political desperation. It’s beyond understanding that State House could think that Transparency International could be seen to be praising efforts of a government which is aimed at frustrating the fight against corruption through actions like the removal of the offence of abuse of office,” Mpombo said. “It’s inconceivable that State House could have thought that TI can hail this particular sad development.”
Mpombo said he had been vindicated.
“I said it, that this man is engaged in shameless political plagiarism where he wants to get credit for the projects that were initiated by the late president Levy Mwanawasa. I hope my critics have now seen that I was right after all and I meant well when I raised those observations. But this kind of plagiarism has no impact,” Mpombo said.
“This man has been shamelessly campaigning using Mwanawasa's efforts for his own selfish and personal motive. But those are wasted efforts because people realise what kind of a man Mr Banda is. He is now a casualty of his own lies because of his desire for praise.
He is embarrassing himself in his quest for praise.”
On Saturday, Transparency International (TI) refuted State House's statement that its director of global programmes Christiaan Poortman praised President Rupiah Banda for his leadership and commitment to the fight against corruption.
TI director of communications Andre Doren stated that Poortman made specific reference to the late president Levy Mwanawasa. This was after President Banda's special assistant for press and public relations Dickson Jere issued a statement on Friday claiming that Poortman had praised President Banda for setting a good example in the fight against corruption.
In his letter dated October 29, 2010 to IRIN news agency where Jere is suspected to have got the story, Doren stated that Mwanawasa initiated a major campaign to uphold the values of good governance.
And Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) president Reuben Lifuka also dismissed Jere's statement, adding that the news article by IRIN in fact, did not mention President Banda by name.