Government has described as absurd assertions by Rainbow Party President Wynter Kabimba that the late President Michael Sata must be turning in his grave because President Lungu has appointed non-Patriotic Front members.
Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said it is sad that leaders aspiring to the highest office of the land have chosen to politicise genuine efforts by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
Mr. Kambwili who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said it is disappointing that some opposition political party leaders are opposed to President Lungu’s inclusive approach in appointing people to his Government.
Mr. Kambwili explained that in his inaugural speech, President Lungu made it clear that he would explore all possible means and efforts to unite all Zambians regardless of their tribe, religion, race, political affiliations among others and is doing just that.
“Those criticising him for taking such a bold step, and are inciting members of the ruling Patriotic Front, and are not fit to lead this country”, charged Mr. Kambwili.
He pointed out that President Lungu is not just a leader of the Patriotic Front but is President of all Zambians regardless of their political affiliation.
Mr. Kambwili explained that even President Sata, himself, appointed Members of Parliament from the opposition to his administration saying there is nothing sinister in what President Lungu is doing.
“The President will, therefore, work with Zambians he feels can help him better the living standards of the people and move the country forwards”, said Mr. Kambwili.
On sentiments by 4TH Revolution Party President Eric Chanda over the debt public media institutions owe the Zambia Revenue Authority, Mr. Kambwili reminded the opposition party leader that his status demands that he works with government to find solutions to challenges state institutions were facing.
Mr. Kambwili pointed out that it was therefore, unfair for Mr Chanda to accuse the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) of pandering to the whims of politicians because the men and women of that institution are professional and they deserve respect.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kambwili has said national leaders should be the first to defend government institutions because statements like the ones they are issuing are setting Zambians against officers in these institutions as was witnessed when UPND cadres attacked journalists two days ago.
“Media institutions like Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) on their own, without the so called ‘invisible hand’, have been engaging ZRA on how they may settle their outstanding debts”, explained the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services.
He noted that government on its part as the shareholder in State Owned Enterprises is looking at ways of recapitalizing and restructuring these companies so that they operate profitably.
And government says it will request the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) to transform the debt owed to them by all public media institutions into equity capital.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Chishimba Kambwili says the development will enhance operations at the affected public media organisations namely Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
Mr. Kambwili said his ministry has already begun the formulation process and it will soon take the matter to cabinet for approval.
He stated that the move to request ZRA and NAPSA to transform the debt into equity capital is among many measures government intends to use to recapitalise and resuscitate the public media institutions so that they can operate profitably.
The Minister further said the development will no doubt help the Times of Zambia which is mostly affected to go on the open market as their balance sheet will be greatly improved and enhanced.
Mr. Kambwili who was speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka today, said government is committed to ensure that all public media institutions in the country are well sustained.