Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba has given The Zambian Watchdog, seven days to retract a recent report suggesting that he and Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda travelled to London to be by President Michael Sata’s bedside whom it alleged was hospitalised.
Mr Mwamba told the government controlled and funded Times of Zambia that the report was misleading to the Zambian people and the world at large because President Sata went to London on a private visit and had never gone on leave since he became President.
The minister said if the Zambian Watchdog would not retract the posted report within seven days, he would engage law enforcement agencies to apply appropriate action in accordance with the law.
He said he and Mr Chikwanda went to London to attend a graduation ceremony of his son, Muma who had graduated “with honours” in business economics at Manchester University.
He said they only met President Sata once while in London and that he was in good health.
The minister said The Zambian Watchdog should apologise for deliberately choosing to mislead the world.
Mr Mwamba, who was accompanied by Mr Chikwanda, his wife Chama, his son Muma and former Chimwemwe Member of Parliament Willie Nsanda, was speaking on arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport from London yesterday.
“I have given this online publication a seven-day ultimatum to retract this falsehood or face the long arm of the law.
“I, Mr Chikwanda and some of my relatives went to attend a graduation ceremony of my son, Muma, who graduated on July 14 at Manchester University and has been in London for four years,” he said.
Mr Mwamba said he used his own resources to sponsor the trip to London and that no Government funds were used because he was a responsible citizen.
He said Zambian Watchdog proprietors should realise that whatever report they posted was viewed worldwide and could create wrong impressions.
“Such reports should come to an end. As Government, we know who is circulating these falsehoods and our law enforcement agencies are moving closely,” he said.
Mr Mwamba and Mr Chikwanda who are on leave until July 31, 2012, appealed to Zambians to ignore defamatory online publications, which has become a habit, saying Mr Sata was determined to develop the country.
Times of Zambia
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