Lands Minster Jean Kapata says she will sue News Diggers newspaper for publishing an investigative report released by a US based Environmental Investigation Agency, which implicates her in the mukula smuggling cartel.
Speaking at a press briefing, Friday, Kapata said government was under siege from its enemies who were using the media.
“I am deeply upset by the contents of a so called report that has been maliciously circulated by an organization calling itself Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). I am even more appalled that a Zambian newspaper can go all the way in defaming the President and his ministers without verification. I presume News Diggers is supposed to be a professional publication whose core virtue must be to seek the truth which is a value for all professional journalists. I do not want to believe that journalists do not know their ethics. I believe they threw their ethics out of the window to please their sponsors. This is very sad. We hear daily submissions from the media asking for press freedom. I am personally an advocate for press freedom but I do not support press freedom based on hurting innocent Zambians,” Kapata said.
“Government is under siege from its enemies, local and foreign, you are going to see more of this gutter journalism. You are going to see fake reports, you are going to see malicious videos like the one you have seen today, provocative videos and so on. All these are fake. Government will not be detracted by enemies of the state, local and international, as we pursue our development agenda. Let me conclude by saying, I am going to sue News Diggers. I know the reporter who wrote this story and she will be receiving some summons from myself.”
When asked by this reporter if the report by the EIA was false, Kapata said the newspaper would explain in court.
“You are coming from News Diggers, your paper wrote that article so you are supposed to give me those answers yourself!” exclaimed Kapata.
Asked if she would sue the EIA, Kapata said News Diggers would explain what this organization is in court.
“First of all I would like to mention that we don’t know who these EIA are so the News Diggers should be able to tell us who they are and once we know who they are they will be equally be part and parcel of the suing,” she said.
Asked if government was struggling to control illegal Mukula trade, Kapata said it was controlled.
“As far as we are concerned, this illegality of Mukala tree has been controlled. In the past, I am sure all of you will bear me witness that in the past, you heard that 100 containers was confiscated somewhere. From the time we restricted the harvesting and trading in Mukula, the numbers have been very minimal,” said Kapata.
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