PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu said he will not go against the decision of the Zambian people in the 2021 presidential elections contrary to media reports.
The President said contrary to what was reported in the Diggers Newspaper that he had vowed to remain President whether Zambians like it or not, he is a democrat who respects the will of the people.
In a statement by his special assistant for press and public relations Isaac Chipampe, the Head of state said he found it disturbing that the newspa- per decided to misquote him when he held public rallies in Kasama District.
Mr Lungu clarified that he did not say “I will remain President whether Zambians like it or not“instead, stated that he was President wheth- er his opponents like it or not, and that if anything happened to him his Constitutional successor was Vice President, Inonge Wina.
The President who reiterated that he was a democrat believing in the will of electorates, said it was sad that one tabloid newspaper misquoted him.
He urged all journalists to strictly adhere to their professional ethics because not doing so could plunge the country into chaos.
“Journalists should report factually and not misinterpret or misinform the public to suit their agenda. Such reporting will not differentiate them from social media communicators, “President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, MISA Zambia has urged the media to be ethical as they carry out their function to avoid losing their integrity.
In a statement, MISA Zambia chairperson, Hellen Mwale said there was need for the media to be diligent in its function because journalism’s obligation was to the truth and allegiance to the citizens and the public at large.
Ms Mwale said if media publish falsehoods, its function in society and constitutional protection is therefore compromised and trust from the general public is lost.
“Considering that the media is trained to compile and publish information for public consumption and its right is part of the Zambian Constitution, the need for the media to be diligent in its function cannot be overemphasised,” she said.
She said once a media house fails to adhere to its role of providing a service for the common good of society, its allegiance is then shifted from the public.
Ms Mwale said it was therefore paramount that the media publish truthful information and this calls for verification of information.
Meanwhile, Diggers Newspaper has apologised for their misleading story in yesterday’s edition.
“In our Thursday, September 17, 2020 edition, we quoted President Edgar Lungu saying that “Whether Zambians like it or not, he will remain President of the Republic of Zambia”. It has been brought to our attention that the Head of State, who was speaking in Bemba, was addressing UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema, and stated that:
“Nangu chibe shani, namailo litali, na 2021 litali, lelo kufika next election mu August pa 12 mu 2021, president ninebo! Nangu ulefwaya olo taulefwaya, president ninebo!”
Therefore, President Lungu did not say: “I will remain President, whether Zambians like it or not.” We hereby now issue our unreserved apolo- gy to the Head of State, His Excellency President Edgar Lungu, and the Patriotic Front, for the damage and inconve- nience caused by our inaccu- racy in translating his message at the said rally. -DIGGERS EDITOR