UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) vice chancellor Professor Luke Mumba says News Diggers will go down like The Post because it publishes a lot of rubbish on his institution without carrying out any research.
Prof Mumba said this when he was asked if UNZA would abandon plans to amend the staff disciplinary code, given the outcry from the workers’ unions.
“Madam Natasha let me give you some counselling. You know, the Diggers Newspaper, you act in a very unprofessional manner. First you received a submission from UNZARALU, you published it without consulting us, now you have created excitement in the public that’s when you are coming to us…you are very unprofessional. I have yet to speak to the proprietors of the Diggers newspaper. Journalism is about doing research, okay? So you already published a lot of rubbish, now you are asking, what are you asking? That was rubbish you published, you didn’t consult us, you are very unprofessional, your newspaper is going to go down just like The Post because you are very unprofessional,” Prof Mumba charged.
He said Diggers practiced “junk journalism”.
“You create sensation on things which are not true without verifying, what’s the point of you asking me now? You need to be professional, whoever owns that newspaper needs to control you journalists because you are behaving in a very unprofessional manner. You have been publishing a lot of rubbish things about the University without checking with management. So when you receive a submission, you must, before you publish, say ‘oh, this is what we received and the people that are being accused have said so so so’, you give a balanced story not the way you are behaving. Your days are very numbered as Diggers because you are injuring innocent people, people who can’t defend themselves in the media, okay? You need to be educated, what you are doing is junk journalism, it’s not journalism at all,” said Prof Mumba.
A fortnight ago, Diggers reported that UNZA was developing a Staff Discipline and Procedure Code which would make “unauthorized communications of confidential university information” a dismissible offence, among others.
But stakeholders, among them Transparency International Zambia and America-based Zambian law Professor Muna Ndulo condemned the institution’s intentions to amend the code, noting that the amendments seemed to be aimed at silencing whistle blowers.
And recently, News Diggers reported irregularities which had been highlighted by a recent audit conducted by Grant Thornton on behalf of the Office of the Auditor General.
The report for the financial year ended 2018 revealed that UNZA owed ZRA, NAPSA and Workers Compensation K2.8 billion in statutory obligations.
And the report also revealed that there were 30,657 favourable changes to student results without supporting documentation.
In an audit which was done by Grant Thornton on behalf of the Auditor General, UNZA owed ZRA K1,607,660,000, NAPSA K1,201,980,000 and Workers Compensation K9,800,000.
UNZA spokesperson Brenda Bukowa, however, stated that the reports on the “unfinished” audit were a deliberate ploy to incite people to rise against the management of the institution.
Meanwhile, UNZALARU demanded the removal of the current UNZA management saying it was wasteful and incompetent.