Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya says government will soon shut down media houses that allow politicians to use them as platforms for ‘insulting’ President Edgar Lungu.
Siliya who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting lashed out at News Diggers! in a telephone call following an article which the newspaper carried, a day earlier, quoting Chishima Kambwili under the headline “The drunkard is stuck”, in which he mocked President Lungu’s plea for help from Turkey to finance the country’s Eurobond.
The PF rebel member of parliament who also leads the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said Zambia had no President in office because the Head of State was speaking like an empty tin.
He added that Zambians were suffering at the hands of a drunkard who had no idea on how to get the country out of its economic crisis, but was instead concentrating on stealing.
Siliya who also serves as Petauke Central member of parliament did not take Kambwili’s language kindly, arguing that there was need for sanity among politicians.
However the Minister directed her displeasure at the News Diggers, rather than Kambwili who made the remarks.
“Media house that tolerate insulting language in the name of press freedom risk having their licenses cancelled by government. And those of you that wish to dare government will be made a good example of very soon,” she threatened.
“This is a country with standards of Christianity and respect for elders and those in authority.. This is Zambia a sovereign state. And I am not saying one cannot criticise the President or government but demeaning each other is uncalled for. As I have said many times we in the PF government are not short of descriptive of other peoples appearance but We know what Zambians want are ideas on economic management, Not tantrums.”
Siliya accused News Diggers of promoting foul language against President Lungu.
“It is unethical that reporters feel covering politicians with foul language is news. We dare anybody with ideas to debate with us but we will not take this insulting culture lightly. So am warning the media not to be used to inflate peoples egos until they lose shape, but to be measured and avoid sowing tension in the nation,” the minister added.
And in a tweet posted earlier, Siliya defended President Lungu’s social life, giving an example of Winston Churchill.
“Winston Churchill, when accused of drunkenness by a reporter answered that, ‘I may be, but will be sober tomorrow. However, you my lady will still be ugly. We all have capacity to demean those who disagree with us but good politics are about ideas, not name calling President Lungu,” said Siliya.