The Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) says the most preferred avenue for the republican president to deal with pressing national issues remains through press conferences.
PAZA Executive Secretary Patson Phiri has said that while it is a progressive idea for President Michael Sata to open a face book page, it is not entirely true that the face book platform is better than holding a press conference which the people of Zambia have been crying for.
Mr. Phiri states that the quality of a press conference is that people are assured that they are speaking to the president directly and getting responses there and then as opposed to a face book page which can be run by anyone who may not necessarily reflect the president’s position on particular issues.
He adds that at a press conference people are also assured that issues will be dealt with in a clear manner with no doubts on who is speaking, as opposed to face book page.
Mr. Phiri further notes that less than three million Zambians are on face book while press conferences can carter for over six million people who have access to the media in the country.
Over the weekend, Acting Information and Broadcasting Minister Fackson Shamenda shocked the nation when he said it was fine for ailing dictator Michael Sata to run the country from George Chellar’s keyboard who is running the page.
Mr. Sata himself has no idea what the hell an animal called facebook is and does not even know how a computer mouse and probably keyboard looks like.
Even in developed countries such as America where president Barack Obama has close to 40 million followers and the neighbouring country Malawi where Joyce Banda has a facebook page, the leaders still interact with the electorates face to face through live press conferences.
In Zambia, Sata’s idea of the face book page is to further hide the bedridden president away from people while pretending that he was still in charge, even in the worse case scenario that he could be in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
As things stand now, Zambia governance system has moved from being on autopilot to being run from George Chellar’s keyboard, and apparently the gimmick seems to be working well as all the government controlled media such as the Times of PF, Daily PF, ZNBC PF, and Past newspaper are generating headlines news stories from any fake postings by George Chellar claiming to be president Sata.
Yet the Zambiawatchdog is fully informed that Mr. Sata spends his time sleeping at Nkwazi House and the wife, Dr. Christine Kaseba, has since cut her loitering activities to look after the ailing husband.
Recently, the Watchdog revealed that State House have since banned close-up photographs of Mr. Sata by journalists and only his photograph aides are allowed to get pictures which are heavily sensored.