PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson Anthony Bwalya says President Hakainde Hichilema will not act on a leaked audio involving two senior government officials until a professional investigation is done.

Responding to a question during a briefing, Monday, Bwalya said the President Hichilema would not act on hearsay.

Asked to authenticate a statement which was doing rounds to the effect that Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security permanent secretary for administration Josephs Akafumba and Special Assistant to the President for Politics Levy Ngoma, who were in the leaked audio had been fired, Bwalya refuted it, adding that the Head of State had not made any changes.

“It is fake, it is a fake statement. Honourable Levy Ngoma still remains. The President’s Special Assistant for Political Affairs, there are no changes that have been called at the Ministry of Home Affairs. That is just toxic propaganda that is being perpetrated by our enemies of the President and his administration,” he said.

“Like I have indicated colleagues, for the very first time in this country, opposition political parties are given the same latitude to engage politically as those in the ruling party. The background that we are coming from even the press briefings which opposition political parties are holding in this country were not possible, we were not being allowed to hold press briefings like that. All of that is now gone. Everyone is enjoying their democratic rights and freedoms. Coming to the issue that you have raised concerning a recording, I have to be very honest with you, I know as much about that issue as much as you do. There has been no professional investigation that has been carried out to ascertain who the names of the individuals in that recording were. Everything that you and I are hearing is hearsay. Until and when a professional investigation has been conducted and carried out to ascertain the identities of those individuals, we shall not comment on hearsay and the President will not act on hearsay.”

And Bwalya stressed the need for police to arrest perpetrators of violence regardless of their political affiliation.

“Just like on corruption, there will be no sacred cows, the President has made it very clear. All those who perpetrate violence in the name of their chosen will be held accountable and there will be no room to hide. The President has been very clear that this is a government not for a selected few but it is a government for all Zambians, all Zambians must be protected. All of us must feel safe to be citizens in this country. The President therefore wishes to urge the police to be robust, fair but firm in dealing with perpetrators of violence whatever form it takes. Those who will perpetrate violence in the name of whichever political party that will be, there will be no protection for you under the law,” Bwalya said.

“We wish to commend the actions of the police that were taken in relation to the incident and several incidents that took place in Kasama. That will continue to be the position of the President on matters of violence, that will continue to be the position of the new administration. I think it is important for the country, for you colleagues in the media to recognize that commitment is not going unfulfilled. We see now that for the very first time in the history of this country, various and different political parties are now free not just to hold meetings but to go about their campaign and electioneering activities without fear of being intimidated or attacked by political party cadres of any political party.”

Meanwhile, Bwalya said whilst in Dubai, President Hichilema held discussions with several investors in a bid to drive investment in the energy sector, among others.

“The President especially commends and congratulates the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its leadership on signing two memorandum of understanding with two Chambers of Commerce and Trade from the UAE for the commencement of trade and knowledge collaboration between the chambers. The President also held meetings and consultations with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development which is positioned to support the infrastructure financing channels to fund power, roads, airports and railway projects in this country. This is important because the kind of financing mechanism that we are talking about are concessional financing mechanisms. There were also meetings that were undertaken with Master which is an Abudhabi future energy company which is committed to investing up to 2gigawatts worth of an energy project spanning solar, wind and hydro energy. This will go a long way towards diversifying our country’s energy resources and create expanded capacity for both industrial and domestic uses and consumption,” said Bwalya.