Sun, 25 Feb 2018 09:41:15 +0000
By SIMON MUNTEMBA
STATE House has asked New Vision Newspaper to immediately retract and apologise for publishing what it termed as “concocted and fabricated” story against President Lungu.
Presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda said it was unfortunate and unprofessional for New Vision to carry a false story that claimed that President Edgar Lungu was Zambia’s second richest with a net worth of US$400 million when he was not.
Mr Chanda was reacting to a story carried in the New Vision tabloid of Friday, February 23 entitled “Lungu Zambia’s second richest – Forbes.”
The New Vision claimed that according to Forbes, President Lungu was now the second richest person in Zambia with a net worth of US$400m from K2m in 2015.
New Vision claimed that in January this year, Forbes reported that President Lungu had moved from number 123 in 2015 to become second richest person after UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema this year.
But Mr Chanda disclosed that State House did contact Forbes to ask for the authenticity of the story which it declined to be the source of it.
Mr Chanda, therefore demanded for a retraction and an apology from the New Vision for publishing lies aimed at tarnishing the image of the Head of State. “The President is extremely aggrieved by this story. One, on account that it is false, and two, it has now turned out to be forgery because Forbes which is attributed to it has declined that it is not the source of the news.
“We have contacted Forbes and they have declined that this is not their publication. So, State House is requesting New Vision to retract a story and apologise appropriately,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda said the culture of maligning leaders is so saddening, adding that in professional journalism, that is extremely sad. Mr Chanda said it was false to insinuate that President Lungu was second richest in Zambia with a net worth of US$400m, pointing out that Mr Lungu does not have that kind of money.
“The story is false in its entity… The President has no investments whatsoever in Scania trucks which they are talking about. The story is false, as a result and in a civil manner, we request that they withdraw the story, and refrain from concocting stories which are not here nor there.”
Mr Chanda added, “we do not know the authenticity of the claims of others mentioned in the story, but for the President, the story is totally false.”