Prime Television managing director Gerald Shawa says the TV station stands by what it reported that former State House Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chilubanama said President Edgar Lungu is fatigued and needs to rest and start farming.
Last week, Chilubanama apologized to the PF for the confusion caused by the remarks attributed to him by Prime TV, threatening to sue the broadcaster if it failed to apologize for allegedly misquoting him.
But in an interview, Shawa wondered why Chilubanama kept quiet after the story was aired, only to refute it when the party commenced disciplinary action against him.
“I thought to first wait for the letter that Chilubanama is claiming that he has written to our station. The truth of the matter is, yes, we have the recording and he said it. But why didn’t he refute the story when we aired it? He kept quiet and has only refuted now just because they want to expel him or when he is being disciplined? He is just afraid! He has been calling our editor to say, ‘no, please, we have got businesses and we are not enemies.’ They are pleading with us, but for us, we have a name to protect. Remember, the same happened with the Zesco story and if you see the comments on the Zesco story, people are saying that they are all running to the Mundende way of refuting,” Shawa said.
He challenged Chilubanama to proceed with litigation as the TV station was ready to defend itself and stood by what was reported.
“He said those remarks and we have the recordings. If, truly, he was misquoted, he should have called us a long time (ago). But now, because he is before the disciplinary committee, he is apologizing to PF and accusing Prime of misquoting him. We challenge him to go to court and we are ready to defend ourselves! We stand by what we aired because he is still coming to us in the background, behind the door to say, ‘please, we are not even going to go to court (because) you people are friends.’ He is being hypocritical! Let him be honest and stand with what he said. If he was genuine, why didn’t he refute the story immediately after it was aired? You can see that he is lying and his friends are after him,” said Shawa.