DFiD accused of sponsoring PF and undermining government

Britain’s Department for International Development Zambia office  has been accused of sponsoring the opposition and undermining the Zambian government.
A progovernment group called Committee of Citzens says the DFiD is channeling its huge financial support to the opposition Patriotic Front through the Post newspaper, a private daily newspaper.
“The DfiD is using the Press Freedom Committee of the Post (PFC) to Fund the Patriotic Front (PF) and its agent Bob Sichinga’s countrywide tours through seemingly innocent electoral programs when in fact not”, said Gregory Chifire the director of the Committee of Citizens.
The Press Freedom Committee of the Post is an inhouse and exclusive association of Post newspaper employees.
In condemning what he called covert political activities by DFiD, Chifire said DfiD is a development wing of the United Kingdom Government and should never take political sides or embark on activities that openly undermine Government.
“We wish to condemn in the strongest terms covert political activities being sponsored by a supposedly neutral donor entity,DfiD’, he said.
Chifire said DFiD and the post have recruited a former MP Bob Sichinga to organise the PF.
“Bob Sichinga is currently running the PF. He recently organised Mr. Sata’s tour to the United Kingdom’s Oxford University and the Foreign Office.
“Mr Bob Sichinga has been going round the country using the platform of the PFC called News Makers Forum to campaign for the PF with DfiD funds, strengthen PF structures and prepare for Mr. Sata’s rallies so as to enhance chances for the PF in this year’s elections. These tours are advertised in the Post Newspaper,” he explained in an email statement.
Chifire said the decision by the PFC to sponsor Bob Sichinga is inimical to the interests of the country.
“We are aware that certain donors have heightened activities against Government and are funding the opposition through dubious entities such as the PFC,” Chifire said.
He appealed to Government and security wings to ‘immediately probe the huge funding being given to the PFC by the DfiD and establish if it is being used for the intended purpose’.

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