Friday, October 25, 2013

Mwamba's conduct displeases Kabimba
By Moses Kuwema and Tilyenji Mwanza
Fri 04 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba says information and broadcasting services permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba is prepared to destroy the public media in order to please his paymasters and their cronies.

But Mwamba says Kabimba should have written to his superiors and that he had officially complained of harassment.

In his letter to Mwamba obtained by The Post dated October 3, Kabimba, who is PF secretary general and justice minister, said he would not sit back and allow the destruction of the public media to continue unabated to the detriment of national development.

"I have a duty to protect the majority interest in this country against turncoats whose objective is to serve narrow personal interests of their paymasters. Your insidious activities since you assumed your new position come against the background when members of the public were beginning to show some confidence in the renewed professionalism of the public media under the PF government. This trend is now gradually going in reverse again," read Kabimba's letter to Mwamba.
Kabimba explained that about two weeks ago, he phoned Mwamba to express his concern about one of his pronouncements as was reported in the print media, regarding what Mwamba referred to as the practice by some ministers being accompanied by preferred reporters while on government duty outside Lusaka.
He explained that he advised Mwamba to remain professional in his execution of responsibilities as information permanent secretary.
"In the last week, I have seen several headlines against me in the Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia which were so personal in nature and style that they were unexpected from the government media against a sitting minister of government. His Honour the Vice-President Dr Guy Scott alluded to this on Saturday, 29th September, 2013 during his interview with The Post Newspaper. One would have thought that you and your colleagues would have taken a leaf from His Honour the Vice-President's comments over this matter. I have also received reports that you personally ordered the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) to limit coverage of my stories," read the letter.
Recently, Vice-President Scott said it was strange to see government media setting ministers against each other.
Kabimba reminded Mwamba that as secretary general of the ruling PF, he was the custodian of the party's manifesto, which outlines all the social and economic programmes of the government, and that he was also the official spokesperson of the PF.
"In my various contacts and meetings with our party members and general public, I am enjoined with the duty to inform them about the successes of the Patriotic Front through the government's implementation of its programmes. I know that this does not matter to you at all since at the time when we were struggling to build the Patriotic Front, you were busy feeding from Frederick Chiluba and Rupiah Banda's plates. You are therefore, not expected to show any sense of commitment or loyalty to this party. After all in the event of the PF's failure to form government at any time in future, you shall move on to another political party in government," read Kabimba's letter.
Kabimba stated that Mwamba could not in this respect be President Sata's protégé more than him as he would want to project in the manner he intends to politicise the public media.
Kabimba further stated that by copy of the letter to Mwamba, he would like the minister of information and broadcasting services Mwansa Kapeya, to advise him on the steps that his ministry intends to take to save the public media from imminent collapse again.
But Mwamba said Kabimba had been phoning him and threatening to dismiss him as permanent secretary.
He said Kabimba had also been threatening media heads from Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail, ZNBC and individual reporters with dismissal and unknown punishments.
Mwamba said the ministry should be allowed to run its affairs without intimidation.
He said Kabimba should address his grievances to superiors and not in a letter to him.
Mwamba said he had not received the letter which had been circulated to media houses and whose contents had been read out to him.

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