Mukuni tells Lungu: don’t hunt what you can’t kill… YOU’LL INJURE YOURSELF
By Prince Lubanga
STOP hunting what you cannot kill; you will injure yourself, Chief Mukuni of Southern Province has advised President Edgar Lungu.
And chief Mukuni says it is difficult for a president to receive counsel when power pollutes him.
State House, using its agent Lewis Mosho, the provisional liquidator for Post Newspapers Limited, a week sent police to raid journalist Dr Fred M’membe’s house where they stopped the printing of The Mast newspaper on a small personal printing press which they have dismantled.
The state agents also arrested Dr M’membe’s wife Mutinta for questioning and allegedly tearing their search warrant.
On Thursday, the state agents posing as Zambia Environmental Management Agency officers visited Dr M’membe’s with a warrant to inspect the premises where printing of the newspaper was being done.
And on Friday, the state agents went on a mission to find Mast correspondents with instructions that they confiscate any equipment from them.
“What is happening is that Mosho, under the instruction of the high office, is trying as much as possible to extend whatever he started with The Post to The Mast. This is a well-calculated move meant to completely take out this critical newspaper which has been revealing whatever is happening in the government under the boss [Edgar Lungu]. The boss can’t stand criticism; this is the main reason The Post was closed, not taxes at all. Unfortunately, he is taking this fight to this new newspaper which has done nothing wrong,” State House sources have revealed. “Here is how it was all planned: first, they arrest Fred and his lawyer [Nchima Nchito] to get them out of the Post liquidation case, take out the machine which you guys have been using, then move on to fight The Mast in the name of looking for Post equipment. What they want is to get anything reporters are using – even personal laptops, recorders and whatever equipment.”
A check at Plot 19, Joseph Mwilwa road in Rhodespark where The Mast newsroom is believed to be operating from saw a number of plain cloth officers and state agents parked within
the premises while two walked around in search of The Mast journalists.
After about three hours of waiting, the state agents who were greeted by cameras and high alert journalists drove off when it was clear that the journalists they were looking for did not operate from the alleged place.
Later in the afternoon, Mosho sent four of his agents to Dr M’membe’s house to take out the remaining components of the printing press with a bigger forklift.
However, the mission was abandoned after a power cut when the machine was halfway out of the place where it was installed.
But chief Mukuni of Livingstone and Kazungula said President Lungu’s mission to destroy Dr M’membe, The Post and The Mast newspaper owned by Mutinta would injure him in a bad way.
“We know that Lungu is uncomfortable with Dr M’membe, The Post and The Mast. He doesn’t want any platform that will criticise his government. Now he is going for the kill; he is saying ‘if I don’t finish them, they will come for me’. However, my advice is that one should never go hunting for something they can’t kill, he will injure himself in the process. Zambians cannot be killed by one person,” Mukuni said.
He told President Lungu that killing Dr M’membe and the free press will not stop Zambians from demanding good leadership from him and the PF.
“One may manage to kill the free media, kill Dr Fred M’membe but his values will always live on. We are all on earth at God’s discretion and when one targets another, he ends up injuring himself,” chief Mukuni said.
He advised President Lungu to seek guidance from chiefs and the clergy.
“We as traditional leaders would never encourage witch-hunting. We have and will always call for peace and unity at all levels,” said chief Mukuni. “But when power gets to some leaders’ heads so much, it is difficult to counsel them.”