President Banda’ special assistant for press Dickson Jere has been accessing intelligence information meant for the president and using it to fight personal battles, highly placed sources have revealed.
This behavior by Jere has left the Office of the President Special Branch, known as OP shocked. Sources say the OP senior command is wondering how briefings meant for the head of state are accessed and abused by an individual who is not authorized.
In the past two weeks, Jere has allegedly used two pieces of information meant exclusively for the president to his advantage.
On 21 January, the OP took pictures of Science and technology deputy minister Lameck Mangani and Patriotic Front member Judith Kapijimpanga at Mika Lodge.
The pictures and an accompanying explanation from the side of the OP were sent to President Banda as part of his regular briefings.
Somehow Jere accessed this document and the pictures. He rushed them to the Zambia Daily Mail and caused them to be published.
Sources at State House say Mangani is a sworn enemy of Jere. When Mangani was Home Affairs minister, he repeatedly advised president Banda that Dickson Jere was too immature to handle the job he was given. But Jere was faster. He and others, whom we won’t mention for now, accused Mangani of being used by the enemy to president Banda. Mangani was demoted. But Jere is still not comfortable with Mangani in the ‘neighborhood’.
Last week, the OP reported to president Banda that Community Development Minister, Michael Kaingu has been having meetings with Barotseland secessionists. Dickson Jere accessed the presidential briefing and immediately rushed to the Daily Mail which he controls and published a story that a minister is holding dark-corner meeting about Barotseland.
State House sources say as minister, Kaingu has voiced concern at the capacity of Jere to be special assistant for the president.
One source complained that the problem with what Jere is doing is that he is not using his office to protect the president or the party but that he is fighting personal enemies in government.
Sources say, there are so many intelligence briefings that the president is given regarding opposition members but that Jere is not interested in these.
“Some of the reports which the president has been given explain how one opposition leader uses witchcraft but why can’t Dicskon expose such,’ said a source.