Post Newspaper owner and Editor Fred Mm’embe has sent senior journalists on forced leave after being convinced by his deputy Joseph Mwenda that the sai
d staff were Patriotic Front sympathizers and as such should be sacked.
Last week, the Zambian Watchdog reported that State House was in the process of “buying” Post Newspaper employees so that they can disown their boss following its disputed K 53 million debt with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), which outgoing president Edgar Lungu is using to shut the paper.
As the Watchdog reported, all the journalists rejected PF offers of jobs and money but the paper’s news editor Joseph Mwenda has used the information against his juniors but better journalists.
Mwenda wanted to prove his relevance to his boss and used the information plus the fact the was arrested together with M’membe to get rid of journalists he sees as threats to his position.
But Post insiders indicate that it could be Joseph Mwenda who is doing ‘double tobela’ as he has a good, personal relationship with State House and among the officials he relates with easily is Kaizer Zulu and Emmanuel Chilubanama.
The official reason given to journalists is that the paper needs to reduce the workforce due to the ongoing crisis with the government whereby the paper has been forced to reduce the number of pages it prints every day.
During the meeting addressed by Mwenda himself Friday evening, the journalists sent on leave or simply fired are Chiwoyu Sinyangwe, Abel Mboozi, Roy Habaalu, Kombe Chimpinde, Tobias Phiri Oliver Chisenga and Chambwa Moonga.