Zambia Police officers led by acting senior Commissioner A.l Mhlanga Thursday questioned Watchdog journalist George Zulu in connection with ownership of the Watchdog and a new tabloid called Daily Nation.
This was the second time police interrogated Zulu in one month.
Mhlanga was assigned by Inspector-general of police Martin Malama to extract information from Zulu on the operations of the Watchdog, shareholding and location of editors.
Malama himself could not participate in the interrogation as he had reportedly gone to attend another meeting during the interrogation.
The police questioned Zulu if he was a shareholder or director of a newspaper called the Daily
Nation. The police wanted to find out whether the Watchdog and the Daily Nations belonged to one person.
The Daily Nation is a new tabloid that specializes in plagiarizing (stealing) news articles from the Watchdog and printing them. It is owned by a former senior state house official whose name is withheld for now.
Zulu was accompanied to the police station by his lawyer Wilson Mweemba and a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zambia) representative Daniel Banda.
The police asked Zulu to explain how articles on the Watchdog are reproduced in the Daily Nation.
Zulu said he didn’t know.
The police also asked Zulu who he reports to at the Watchdog and where that person is.
After an interview of about 2:30 minutes the police officer asked Zulu to leave. The police recorded an ordinary statement from Zulu.
On Wednesday October 26, 2010, Inspector-General of Police Martin Malama ordered journalist George Zulu to appear before the following day.
A police officer from national headquarters phoned Zulu and told him that he must appear before the news police boss for questioning.
On October 10, 2011, four police officers interrogated journalist George Zulu in relation to the Zambian Watchdog ownership and an email that was written by information minister Given Lubinda to PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba.
The email was leaked to the Watchdog by PF insiders during the run-up to elections and was published verbatim on this website.
In the email, Lubinda was briefing his boss about the money for campaigns from Taiwan and Afghanistan and other issues relating to the PF like demolishing certain compounds in Lusaka.
When the email was published, the police instituted investigations and questioned both current information minister Lubinda and Kabimba.
Warn and caution statements were entered against the two.
But three days after winning elections, the PF government instructed the police to turn the case around and look for the person who leaked the email and the editors of the Watchdog.