Lungu using presidency to spread lies – VJ

Vernon J Mwaanga: File picture

Veteran politician Vernon Johnson Mwaanga says it is unfair for President Edgar Lungu to use his position to spread falsehoods without verifying facts.

VJ was reacting to President Lungu’s remarks this morning where he accused the latter of going around to different countries to discredit Zambia following UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s arrest.

President Lungu said VJ had been begging other countries in Southern Africa to intervene in Zambia because the country was on fire.

But in this audio, VJ says he is just from a cordial meeting with President Lungu in which he told the Head of State that his information was false.

VJ also says it is unfortunate that African leaders are not fond of verifying information before making it public.

VJ further says he does not expect such treatment as a senior citizen and a statesman.

Take a listen.

And in a statement, VJ said he expected President Lungu to invite him for frank talk before making statements against him.

“I have been receiving numerous calls from media houses and concerned citizens , following remarks which were made by President Edgar Lungu today at state house at a swearing in ceremony . The President expressed disappointment that i have been travelling in the southern African region and spreading falsehoods about the current situation and events in Zambia and something to the effect that the country was on fire. I can confirm that I was invited to a meeting with President Lungu at State House late this morning after he had already made his statement . At the time I went to state house and until after the meeting, I was not made aware that he had already made a public statement about me . I only became aware after our meeting which was frank and transparent . I would have expected the President to invite me for a frank talk before going public and before relying on information about me which was turned out to be faulty,” VJ stated.

“Natural justice demands this procedure be followed as a minimum courtesy to a senior citizen and elder statesman like myself, who has always had the best interest of our country at heart.”

VJ stated that his meeting with President Lungu gave him a rare opportunity to state his position on several governance issues.

“I respect the confidentiality of our discussion with the Head of State based on my long years of dealing with matters of statecraft, and will not divulge what we discussed, but suffice it to say that he gave me a fair opportunity to state my position, after he had stated his and this is an opportunity I had looked forward to since March 2015, when he had promised me an opportunity to meet him and discuss matters relating to the welfare of our country. As misfortune would have it , that meeting he had promised me never took place until today,” stated VJ.

“The President and I last met very briefly in Namibia in March 2015 at the inauguration of President Hage Geingob, where I had even gone to the airport in Windhoek to meet him when he arrived from Zambia accompanied by former President Rupiah Banda. We were to meet in Lusaka after my return from Nigeria where I had gone to observe elections on behalf of the National Democratic Institute of the United States of America. I am honoured that he gave me an opportunity this morning to talk to him in a very respectfully manner and I think we both understood each other’s respective positions and the way forward for our great country.”

Meanwhile, President Lungu swore in Zambian Diplomats to Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Nations.

Those sworn -in are former former education minister Dr John Phiri, Friday Nyambe and Lazarous Kapambwe respectively.

President Lungu advised them to be wary of their private and official conduct because they would be judged based on that.

         

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