Friday, March 04, 2011

It’s media’s duty to expose wrongdoing - Kabanda

It’s media’s duty to expose wrongdoing - Kabanda
By Ernest Chanda
Thu 03 Mar. 2011, 04:01 CAT

The Post should not be blamed for exposing evils in society, says Simon Kabanda. Reacting to President Rupiah Banda's accusation that the newspaper sets the agenda for media institutions in the country, Kabanda, who is Citizens Forum executive secretary, said it was the duty of every newspaper to expose wrongdoing.

He said it was wrong for President Banda to accuse the newspaper wrongly instead of addressing the issues the newspaper had been raising.

“Why is it that every time The Post exposes a wrong in this country, the paper is blamed by the government? Not too long ago over Finance Bank, The Post was blamed. Instead of admitting that the government had mishandled the Finance Bank issue, our finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane blamed The Post. This is not right,” Kabanda said.

He said if government leaders did not want to be exposed, they should live above board. Kabanda said only those doing wrong things should be afraid of exposure.

“In my view it is the government leaders themselves who are setting the agenda through the wrong things they do. And it is the duty of every media institution to expose to the public whatever is wrong in society. So far as members of the public are concerned, we are happy with what The Post is doing. As for the government, let them avoid making wrong decisions and things will be okay for them,” said Kabanda.

Addressing the media at Lusaka's City Airport before departure for Mporokoso yesterday, President Banda accused The Post of setting the agenda for other media institutions.

The accusation followed his special assistant for press and public relations Dickson Jere's concern over a question from a journalist who wanted President Banda's reaction to Wednesday's lead story in The Post, which exposed a fund-raising scam involving the government's use of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) in a land acquisition transaction involving about US$15 million.

As President Banda was answering the question, Jere chipped in and called for what he described forward looking questions instead of mere reactions.

As he continued his explanation President Banda said The Post was not the only newspaper available in the country.

“And also they are setting your (other media) agenda. Why every day are you following The Post as if it's the only newspaper here? It's like you are encouraging scandalising other people also,” said President Banda.

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