20th January 2014
The Post News Paper
The Managing Editor
P/Bag E352, Plot No 36
Roads Park, Lusaka
RE: LIES-A Response To Post Newspaper’s Editorial Comments
It is my humble request that you will find room in your newspaper to accord me space towards the right of reply on the many issues you have had occasion to make editorial comments on. As a private Zambian citizen, who also belongs to a political party, I feel compelled to respond to many of your inaccurate observations, mistruths, propaganda statements and sometimes outright lies, as are contained in many of your editorial comments. It is my hope and belief that you will live up to your own words of having a ‘sense of justice or fairness in your heart’ as you stated in your editorial comment of Monday January 6th 2014. For the moment, I choose to have confidence that space will be provided to me, in order to air my views in your newspaper.
It is my intention to write you several corrective, open letters, based on the numerous editorials that you have written in the past two weeks. While this first letter is a general one, and may be akin to your style of verbosity, the following letters will be specific and to the point on matters to do with your views on the Constitution, Indeco and corruption. I do this in the hope that you will self introspect and perhaps seek to correct some of the misconceptions that you have created. In this regard, let us hope that the honest admission of errors will be the starting point. If, however, my letters will be offensive to you and you should seek to take legal action, please avail me the name of you legal counsel so that the next letter can be appropriately copied to them. ‘When words are twisted and distorted, people misunderstand each other since there’s no longer a common language. Without mutual trust, marriages collapse, but society can also fall apart.’ Out society must not fall apart because of Lies. Ikona-Man
Incidentally, I must begin by pointing out to you that your editorial comment of Sunday, January 12, 2014 entitled ‘LIES’ served as an inspiration towards my making a decision to write to you in my personal capacity as a Zambian citizen. Among the many editorials that you have written over the years, I found this particular one most truthful and an appropriate observation of the events that are currently transpiring in our country.
Unfortunately for you, the collection of wise sayings in your piece of January 12th can equally be ascribed to you and the newspaper. This, of course, is taking into consideration the manner in which you have been conducting yourself over the last three years or so. As you put it, ‘dishonesty does enormous harm to the community’, especially when it is being undertaken and is aggressively being driven by an influential newspaper such as yourself. Let me lift a few excerpts by way of quotations from your own editorial of January 12th 2014 in order to make my point firm. In paragraph one (1) you state and charge as follows,
“There is too much lying in this country. It is increasingly becoming difficult to distinguish truth from lies because lying seems to have become a normal way of life.”
In paragraph Seven (7) and eight (8) you state and charge the following,
“Telling lies often starts with lies to us about our own situation and ourselves when it comes to believing our own lies. Self-deception seems to be the easiest thing in the World. Few of us are honest with ourselves. That then forces us to tell lies to others as well, cover up and make subterfuges
In paragraph Nine (9) you state and charge as follows,
“In fact, truthfulness as a desirable quality is abolished and replaced by deception- you give information or withhold information, or in fact, give disinformation, to the extent that it helps your ambition.”
In paragraph fifteen (15) and seventeen (17), you state and charge as follows, “So much in our country does not work because we are not honest, least of all with ourselves. Without honesty, nothing works. This is so because when others realise that they have been told lies, they have been crooked, dribbled, cooperation ceases. Habitual self deception makes one lose touch with reality”
and finally in paragraph 12 you boldly and rightly put forward the following proclamation,
“In other words, lies will be overtaken by truth. The truth will come out; good will indeed triumph over evil. Truth too will triumph because God is truth, and there is no darkness in him.”
Self Indictment– Guilty as Charged
It is my contention that you indict yourself of all the above four statements as if they were presented as charges against you. Indeed you are guilty as charged. The fact that your paper is attempting to misinform the public about clear promises that where made by the PF on matters such as the constitution, the Public Order Act and governance issues is apparent to all fair minded Zambians to see. The fact that you choose to give selective information and exonerate the involvement of personalities in the current government in what are allegedly the worst deeds of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), is in itself an act of cover up and self-deception. For example, in your criticism of the MMD being responsible for manipulating the constitution to bar Dr Kaunda in 1996, you choose to deliberately be silent on the fact that Minister without Portfolio then, and National Secretary of the MMD then-Currently President Michael Sata, was a key proponent of this most treacherous and undemocratic act and that your paper reported him as being among those who were dancing in parliament and singing-‘Kaunda Alala, Alala, Kaunda Alala, Alala.’ To launder a man to the extent that it helps your ambition is truly being sinister and deceitful.
Truly, I say un- to-you brethren, It is here appropriate for me to quote your own words, that “lies have short legs.” Your attempt at wiping up public and government sentiment against certain ideologies, such as neo liberalism, is destructive to the economic direction that this country has taken in the last 22 years. This is subterfuge. Your habitual self deception has made you lose touch with reality to the extent that you are unaware that others, “the great majority of Zambians, have realised that they have been told lies, they have been crooked, dribbled, and that they have ceased to cooperate”. This is certainly the case with regard to the constitution making process and the Freedom of Information Bill. “In other words, lies will be overtaken by truth. The truth will come out; good will indeed triumph over evil.”
Furthermore, in an attempt to convict others, while exonerating yourself, it is nevertheless quiet clear that you have become an accomplice to the attempt at rewriting the history of this country in accordance with your own carefully selected half truths. For example, the notion that you are trying to promote that President Michael Sata was a Freedom Fighter in the Independence Struggle of our Country is a total fabrication. You have promoted this idea in a number of your editorials in an attempt at upgrading his credentials and therefore equating him to founding farther status. At best, this is shameful and totally dishonest. It should attract the eyes of institutions that are concerned with journalistic ethnics and the code of conduct and morality.
I, Muhabi Lungu, have been accorded a great opportunity to have worked for and with Dr Kenneth Kaunda for seven years, and at one of his most trying periods in his life, in which one of his greatest tormentors and persecutors was Michael Sata. On numerous occasions, I had the privilege to have been educated (primary resource material) about the history of Mr. Michael Sata. The personal narrations of Dr Kenneth Kaunda to me, and this I can vouch for and repeat in his presence, do not place Michael Sata anywhere near the struggle for the independence of this country. In my capacity as Special Assistant to Dr Kaunda, I had occasion not only to sit in the United National Independence Party’s (UNIP) Central Committee, with giants of the liberation struggle, but converse and historically associate with other men and women from the freedom struggle, whose names I shall for the moment withhold, and I can definitively tell you that non of them remember President Michael Sata being part of the struggle.
In fact, you would be taken aback at their placement of him by some of them. In fact and to his credit, President Michael Sata has never ever claimed to have been part of the freedom straggle. At least not to my recollection. So, when you state in your editorial comment of November 28th 2013, entitled ‘Masumba’s Prison Stint’ that “Michael Sata, has had the misfortunes of being imprisoned by the colonial government for revolutionary activities”, you are fabricating history and telling a blue lie. This is just one example of your many instances of “habitual self deception or in fact, giving disinformation, to the extent that it helps your ambition.” A typical and classic case of one out of touch with reality” “But if one can lie, one can steal or even kill”, so you say.
Evidence– The Proof is in the Pudding
Since the year 2014 began, you have written a number of editorials specifically targeting the MMD. In theses editorials, grand statements about who they are, what they stand for and what they are guilty of have been made. In the first two weeks of the month, at list five editorial comments were devoted to topical issues on which the MMD had taken a stand on; meaning almost 40 percent of you editorials have had to do with your unhealthy fixation on the MMD and its stand. This is an anathema, given the fact that the MMD is not in power and is contrary to the standard set by your self, in you previous life as a paper, in that it is the party in government that requires this level of scrutiny. Scrutiny that is necessary to those given the mandate to govern so as to assist them deliver upon their promises made to the electorate. The five editorials in question have been put forward as follows;
i) MMD and the Constitution- Monday January 6th 2014
ii) Sticking to the Corrupt- Tuesday January 7th 2014
iii) Why is MMD opposing Sata’s Indeco idea? – Wednesday January 8th 2014.
iv) Mulongoti making sense on MMD- Saturday, January 11th 2014
v) Riding on others- Tuesday January 14th 2014
Over the course of the next few days, I will devote some time towards responding to the misimpressions that you have created in four of the above editorials. I have accepted that your comments in regard to the editorial entitled “Mulongoti making sense on MMD” as being a fair and genuine opinion aimed at making the MMD reflect upon it shortcomings. This is fair enough. However, the editorial on the Constitution, Corruption and INDECO, are serious matters of national interest and concern for which I feel compelled to attempt setting the record straight and providing an alternative perspective to your attempt to either rewrite history, or excuse the PF from delivering upon its promises or diluting the much need fight against corruption. For the moment, let me begin to conclude by making a strong affirmation to you that I firmly believe in freedom of the press and the right of the press to excise their opinion and if need be in their desire to influence the direction of government and public policy. However, even though every one of us is entitled to our opinions, none of us, including the press, are entitled to our own facts. None of us have the right to fabricate and fashion our opinions, no matter how strongly we may feel about them, in the hope that if we repeat them often enough, that the general public will begin to believe and accept them as immutable truths.
I now end by leaving you with a quotation from Louis Farrakhan, (The Nation of Islam) in the hope that you will use it for your personal introspection as you begin the New Year of 2014 and as you prepare to receive my three letters as indicated above. I quote;
“Truth is the root of the universe. When wrong is condemned by the presence of truth, the wrong doer in the light of truth has his or her actions illuminated for them by the presence of truth. This is mercy from God because it allows us to correct our actions. If our actions go uncorrected, they bring in their own consequences that may not be good for the actor. Great nations such as this one have gone to ruin because people were hateful to truth, because they despised that which corrected them. What makes one despise criticism, it is arrogance. Arrogance is a state of mind that blinds us to truth for we begin to think that we are better than, bigger than, above criticism. “How dare you tell me that I am wrong, do you know who I am? Truth, frankly does not give a damn; truth does not care who you are? No president, Pope or Prophet is above truth. Truth is the root of the universe. Truth is what our lives are given to serve, it is truth that evolves us, it is truth that nurtures us, and it is truth that makes us come into the path of God and makes us reflect the creator. Falsehood created nothing; falsehood can never be sustained.”
I thank you for taking time to read my first letter to you.
Concerned Citizen and an avid student of history.
cc. Press Association of Zambia (PAZA)
cc. Media Association of Southern Africa. (MISA)
cc. The Historical Association of Zambia (UNZA)