Transparency International blasts Dickson Jere

Transparency International has advised Special Assistant for Press, Dickson Jere not to provide false comfort to President Rupiah Banda.
In a statement issued in Lusaka Saturday, TIZ information Officer, Ronald Tembo advised Mr. Jere not to twist straight forward articles that do not even mention President Rupiah Banda to give him false comfort that he was fighting corruption when a lot needed to be done in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Tembo was referring to Thursday’s statement that quoted Mr. Jere. In this statement, Jere referred to the IRIN Story that apparently praised President Rupiah Banda’s positive stand against corruption, comparing him to leaders in Botswana and the United States of America (USA).
IRIN is a news and humanitarian analysis project of the United Nations (UN) Office for coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Head Office in Berlin, Germany, has refuted Mr. Dickson Jere’s statement that Christian Poortman who is Director of Programs ever praised President Rupiah Banda. Andre Doren, director of Communication claims that the kind words that are attributed to in the IRIN story and praised Zambia’s leader’s commitment to the fight against corruption were instead meant for Zambia’s third President, Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.
Doren has since demanded a correction from the UN News Agency, IRIN. In his email to Ben Parker, IRIN Director, Doren has stated that Poortman referred to President Levy Mwanawasa and not to President Rupiah Banda as leaders that have displayed commitment to getting rid of corruption.
“In your article,”Corruption Hampers MDGs” of October 27 2010, you provided a number of quotes from Mr. Christian Poortman, Director of programs TI. When Mr. Poortman mentioned that leaders must display a commitment to getting rid of corruption, he cited among others, the case of Zambia. What did not get specific reference in the article was the specific reference to Zambia’s third President Dr. levy Patrick Mwanawasa who initiated a major campaign to uphold the values of good governance in the country. Without this clarification, the article could be misleading. We would appreciate if you could amend the reference” read Andre Doren’s statement in part.
It is strange that TIZ chose to take such a strong swipe against Dickson Jere while its parent affiliate demanded for a correction from IRIN to a story Jere relied upon for his statement.
TIZ President, Reuben Lifuka and Dickson Jere have been personal friends. They have been involved in numerous leadership programs and activities and where instrumental in the formation of Citizen’s Forum. However it is unknown what has caused the fall-out has demonstrated by this event where Transparency International should be directing its arsenals against IRIN.

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