THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA
For Immediate Release
STATE HOUSE REFUTES TODAY’S POST LEAD STORY
LUSAKA, Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – STATE HOUSE has decided to refute the headline story that appeared in today’s edition of The Post newspaper alleging that His Excellency, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, held a private meeting with former president Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda after a luncheon hosted in honour of the Chipolopolo Boys last Tuesday.
State House is concerned that the newspaper went as far as basing their editorial comment on a story that has turned out to be untrue. This is indeed unfortunate and injurious to the persons accused and therefore an appropriate retraction is required.
For the record, the Head of State has never held any private talks with Mr Banda or indeed anyone to discuss his immunity or any matters related to the on-going investigations on corruption against some members of the previous regime.
On February 12, 2012, President Sata sent ex-presidents Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda and Mr Banda to join the Republican Vice-President’s delegation that went to cheer the national team during the African Cup of Nations final in Libreville, Gabon. After the team won the trophy the First Lady extended an invitation to the two former presidents to join the over 300 other guests at an open luncheon on State House grounds.
The luncheon proceedings were open to the media right through and at no point did President Sata and Mr. Banda engage in any private or exclusive conversations.
But quoting “well-placed sources” The Post alleged that President Sata, in the company of Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba, Home Affairs Minister Kennedy Sakeni and his deputy Obvious Mwaliteta, met Mr Banda who they claim pleaded with the President not to send him to jail because he was too old.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT
PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS