TIMOR Consulting has advised the Patriotic Front that it will be difficult to manage the ruling party’s propaganda if it keeps denying that it has engaged an international consultant to help win the 2016 general elections.
In September this year, The Post reported that the PF had engaged Timor Consulting, an Israeli company, to help President Edgar Lungu retain power next year.
But PF secretary general Davies Chama refuted the story, saying the ruling party did not need any consultant to win the elections because he was the consultant himself.
“I am not aware about it, and we don’t need a consultant. I am the consultant myself, I am the full package,” said Chama in reaction to revelations of President Lungu’s meetings with the Israelis.
However, following the exposè, Timor has written to the party, telling the leadership that refuting the story would not help matters.
“The primary response to such an article is to avoid further engagement with it. The party and its spokespeople should avoid proactively commenting on the issue, and relevant individuals must be instructed accordingly. Such approach is important, as it is incumbent upon us neither to lend credibility to the story nor to increase its profile and cause it to be picked up by other news outlets, who may be perceived as fair in their dealings with the PF and President Lungu,” Timor stated.
“Whilst the above approach is our initial response, should the story continue to feature in the press, either through other outlets picking it up, or through a further ‘leak’, we must be prepared to strategically intervene using it as an opportunity to communicate our message. In this case, it is highly likely that party spokespeople will be pressed to comment by the media, and at this stage, a refusal to engage will be counter-productive, and be seen by the press as if the party has something to hide. It is of utmost importance that the party does not deny the existence of international consultants, as misleading the press on this subject will only encourage it to investigate.”
The company suggested a suitable response to questions on the subject.
“If pressed on the issue, the party should issue a clear statement along the following lines; As is common across the world, the Patriotic Front has engaged the services of international political consultants to assist with its public opinion, research and strategic planning. This is part of its commitment to running a modern, dynamic campaign, which is receptive to the will of the public, and utilises every tool to engage with and listen to each and every Zambian,” stated Timor.
“This is entirely consistent with our long held view that each Zambian counts, and thus, every vote counts. We believe that our consulting team, working in concert with the party infrastructure and grassroots activists, will help us run a successful campaign, which will bring us closer to our ultimate goal: building a stronger economy which will improve the living standards for all Zambians.”
According to a proposal which it pitched to President Lungu, Timor Consulting, which has offices in London and Tel Aviv boasted that it had helped political parties win elections in Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Botswana.