PATRICK Mucheleka says if Daily Nation proprietor Richard Sakala was wise, he would have learnt from his jail experience and avoided getting into deals with State House.
In an interview yesterday, the former Lubansenshi independent member of parliament warned Sakala that State House would not be there to protect him when his deals backfire.
“You see, I sympathise with Mr Richard Sakala. Given what he has gone through, one would have thought he would have been a little wiser because whatever he is doing will sadly backfire on him and given what he went through previously, he should be wiser. I would like to sincerely appeal to my tribal cousin, that’s not the way to go. If he has struck a deal with State House to work as a tool for propaganda and oppression, he is doing it in a wrong way and that issue will backfire. The consequences will be too ghastly for him to handle and I would want him to re-think what he is doing,” Mucheleka said.
He said the Daily Nation, as a private media institution, should remain uncompromised by the state.
“That’s a private newspaper. Privately-owned media must stay away from PF and remain to provide an alternative platform for the Zambian people to express their views. If we cannot get space from state-sponsored media, which have been hijacked, we need to get it from the private media. It is good for democracy,” said Mucheleka.
“I would rather you side with the majority of the Zambian people because if you want to be used as a tool for oppression or whatever private agenda you may have with State House and Lungu, time is coming when you will also be required to account. Private media must stay on course and provide a platform for all Zambians so that we can have divergent views. But if they are going to be caught up in making deals between themselves and the powers that be or Lungu and State House, chances are that once you get exposed, you will be too sorry and those people won’t even protect you. They will actually ditch you and you will be on your own.”
Sakala has asked State House to find lawyers to defend him in the matter where he has been sued for alleging that former first lady Dr Christine Kaseba’s eviction letter was generated by Post Newspapers Limited.
The Post also recently revealed that Sakala had asked President Lungu’s principal private secretary Francis Chalabesha to give the Daily Nation advertising business from ministries and parastatals in exchange for ‘objective’ coverage.