The Post Newspapers Will Not Be Silenced – Fred M’membe
POST editor-in-chief Fred M’membe has vowed that the newspaper will continue publishing despite having the newsroom and other operation offices locked up under police guard.
Speaking on BBC’s Focus on Africa programme on Thursday, M’membe said there was no law which the newspaper was breaking by continuing to be in circulation despite the seizure of its offices by the Zambia Revenue Authority.
They have seized our printing facilities, they have seized our editorial offices and they have even garnished our bank accounts. But there is no law that stops us from publishing so we are coming out tomorrow.
A newspaper is not buildings, it’s not printing presses, it is not computers. A newspaper is anintellectual property. With or without those things, we will still be able to come out and we will come out for as long as it takes,” M’membe said.
Fred M’membe insinuated that government’s intention was to close the newspaper.
“Their intention is to close the newspaper, they have had this intention for a long time. It’s not tax collection they are after, it is closing the newspaper. If a tax collector is after collecting taxes, there is no way they would rush to stop a printing press from running, switch it off and close the printing plant. Lock up the editorial offices, that means they simply didn’t want the publication to come out, it’s not tax collection,” M’membe said.
“It’s politics, they do not want The Post to continue publishing and expose their criminality. This is a corrupt regime that is highly intolerant and it can be witnessed from the high levels of political violence in the country that the country has never seen. They are intolerant of any opposition, they have monopolised all the state owned media, they are being covered to the exclusion of all others.”
He said The Post had never refused to pay taxes.
They have the right to collect taxes, nobody disputes that. And we have been taxpayers for the last 25 years. This is not a new business; it is a company that has existed for 25 years paying taxes.
Even right now we are among the highest taxpayers in Zambia among the Zambian tax payers,” M’membe said.