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State House suffering backlash on Post closure – Milupi

CHARLES Milupi says it is surprising that Amos Chanda is wondering why Zambians were crying over the closure of The Post when a person in his position should understand the importance of an independent press in a democracy.

 

And Milupi says State House is now suffering a backlash of its decision to close down The Post and later sending it into liquidation using lawyer Lewis Mosho.

 

Milupi, who is ADD president, said Chanda should not be surprised that Zambians were still grieving the closure of The Post which he benefited from because the independent newspaper performed according to expectation.

 

On Monday, Chanda asked whether God created The Post after creating Jesus Christ that some Zambians should be crying “all over” about the independent tabloid’s closure by government authorities.

 

 

Speaking on Prime TV’s Oxygen of Democracy on Monday night, Chanda wondered why the matter of The Post newspaper kept on coming up as if the newspaper was any superior to other media institutions.

 

The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) closed The Post on June 21 last year after disputed tax figures.

 

As someone in charge of public relations of the President, he ought to understand the feelings of the people. He is a civil servant paid to understand the desires of the people and relaying that to the President…He is the link between the wishes and desires of the public and the President. So to express ignorance as to why people are still clamouring about The Post is to admit that this government in which he is a key figure and State House where he operates from are not democratic,

Milupi said.

 

“If they were democratic, he would have understood the pillars of democracy…the Executive, which he is part of, the Legislature, Judicature and the Fourth Estate which is the media and the need for these to hold each other in check; that is a key thing in a democracy – to hold each other in check.”

 

He said the people of Zambia understood the role a media institution like The Post played in a democracy and that was why they were still crying over its closure.

 

That is why when you have parts of the media that clearly demonstrate that knowledge and ability to hold the other sectors of government in check, the people, the citizens migrate to the side of the press. The Zambian people understand we have to have a press that is part of the Fourth Estate and part of the other part of government ought to hold each other in check. Therefore, when people recognize part of the media that plays the role of holding other arms of government in check, then they shift towards that media,

Milupi said adding;

 

“Since inception, about 1990 or 1991, The Post, starting from the Weekly Post, played a vital role in holding the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary to account and informing the people without fear or favour. Because of that, the people in their democratic nature and after voting for democracy in 1991 understand what a democracy entails and that’s a free press. The Post had demonstrated this very clearly…So whatever they did with ZRA, with Mosho; they are suffering the backlash of that. It’s a clear demonstration of what people want. Good to the people can never be brought down. For how long has The Post be closed? Their things sold, tables shared but the people are still talking about them. In the eyes of the people, The Post was good and served its purpose.”

 

He said The Post would one day resurrect as the Zambian people were still craving for it.

 

Right now, The Mast has come up and its just eight pages, but how come it’s being sold faster than the Times of Zambia, faster than the Daily Nation? How come people pass these other papers to go and buy The Mast? It’s because small as it is, basic as it is, it’s serving the purpose of holding the other arms of government into account…these are the basic tenets of democracy,

said Milupi.

 

“The moment understand that this what the people wanted in 1991 then their role at state House to protect what the people want will be done; at the moment they are not doing that. It is not possible to keep down what the people want, one day the Post will resurrect and when it does you will see how people will welcome it back. Because they are craving for it right now. And Chanda should be careful how he brings the name of God to public discourse, for him to say was The Post created by God and so on, it is blasphemous. He cannot be that careless, let him be careful and stop issuing statements that bring the name of the Almighty into disrepute.”

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