The UPND has demanded an apology from ZNBC and PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri for alleging that the largest opposition political party donated branded items to the Ministry of Health.
UPND deputy secretary general Patrick Mucheleka stated, Thursday, that his party was dismayed by ZNBC’s unprofessional conduct for airing a misleading statement from Phiri without verifying with the Ministry of Health on what the party actually donated.
“The UPND are hereby demanding for an immediate and unconditional apology from the PF Deputy Secretary General Ms. Mumbi Phiri and the Zambia National Broadcasting for misleading the Nation that our party donated or were intending to donate UPND branded cholera prevention materials, to health authorities that are spearheading the anti-cholera campaign in Lusaka and other parts of the country. We are once again dismayed and greatly disturbed by the unprofessional conduct of the ZNBC that decided to air a very misleading statement from Ms Mumbi Phiri without first checking facts from us, as should be expected of any credible media house,” he stated.
Mucheleka observed that none of the donated items which were received by the Ministers of Health and Local Government were branded UPND.
“We also sadly note that instead of running a story from the PF Ministers who gladly and in the spirit of one nation accepted our small gesture of the donation towards the combating of the cholera outbreak in the country, ZNBC deliberately maintained silence by again purposely withholding information that was factual and truthful, and that would have gone a long way in correcting their misrepresentation in collaboration with Ms Mumbi Phiri. As can be attested by the PF ministers and government officials present, none of our donated materials were branded in the UPND colours and none of them were bins and so we wonder where Ms. Mumbi Phiri and ZNBC obtained the story that our Party was going to donate UPND branded cholera prevention materials to health authorities,” he stated.
Mucheleka stated that their leader Hakahinde Hichilema had guided that there was no need to politicise the cholera epidemic.
“Our party President Hakainde Hichilema has so far fully guided that no one needed to make political capital on the unfortunate situation of the cholera epidemic that is ravaging the country as the disease knows no political party or any other artificial affiliation. Mr Hichilema’s clarion call that all Zambians must tackle cholera as one people with one spirit is unequivocal and undeniable. And so we sincerely commend the spirit of co-operation and oneness, with which government officials in charge exhibited in accepting the small gesture from the UPND and Mr. Hichilema, through our Party leadership,” stated Mucheleka.
“We therefore find the action and insinuations by ZNBC and Ms. Mumbi Phiri amidst this war against cholera, irresponsible, reckless and unethical and advise the Public Broadcaster to report neutrally and professionally by seeking a balanced view from the other party involved before airing such malicious information to the public. We further wish to advise that we reserve the right to seek redress if no retraction by ZNBC and Ms Mumbi Phiri is done within the shortest possible time.”