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WE have no time to waste answering Ms Laura Miti whose sole preoccupation is to be relevant and in the process nasty, acerbic and often with no reverence to the truth.

As a newspaper, we have a policy not to engage in salacious gossip or indeed character assassination that has become the vogue of modern Zambian journalism.  We have chosen to protect professionalism.

We stand for the truth whatever the circumstances, that is why even the Patriotic Front members were shocked when we were among the first to call upon President Edgar Lungu to concede after the August 12 elections because circumstances did not portend for victory in the face of ravages that Covid-19 had wrought on the country creating unemployment and therefore diminished disposable incomes.

People forget that the UPND has Covid-19 to thank for their victory.

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Long before it was fashionable, we were in the trenches with the opposition demanding inclusivity in the Michael Sata cabinet and other government structures. 

Indeed, our demand for integrity landed us in court.

More recently, we have crusaded the cause of pensioners and indeed the plight of such individuals as the Hatembo siblings from whom we still have to hear. 

These reports did not endear us to some sections of society but we felt it a duty to report because every life matters. Issues of integrity, truth and common good are our primary concern.

We therefore find it objectionable that of all the people, Ms Miti could fault us for a cartoon depicting the presence of cadres at the Lusaka Intercity Bus Terminus, suggesting we were fabricating this phenomenon.

Gladly, police have arrested individuals with UPND receipt books who were collecting money, this was in spite of statements by their leader President Hakainde Hichilema.

There should be no doubt that these last elections were more about regional rigidity, coupled by a malleable electorate responding to the pain and suffering caused by economic privation which this country like many others could not sustain.

It is worth noting that wealthy countries like the United States have spent trillions of dollars cushioning unemployment by a US$300 monthly grant to the unemployed and almost a year rental moratorium for tenants.

It is only now that these support structures have been removed that the ordinary American will truly feel the ravages that Covid-19 has inflicted on most developing countries where no formal support system has existed.

Our message has never changed.  We have consistently preached the message of integrity, probity and self-reliance through home grown economic enterprises as preached by second republican President Frederick Chiluba who promoted among other things, housing empowerment.  He worked for the emergence of a middle class with a claim on the economy.

He did not believe and neither do we that government as an institution can meet the needs of all Zambians because the economy is limited and the resource envelop equally circumscribed in what it can do to support full employment or indeed or a fully functional, social scheme.

We have never believed that free education from primary to university is tenable, neither is it possible for the government to employ all the graduates emerging from the many tertiary institutions in the country. 

As it stands, emoluments are more than 51 percent of government expenditure, adding more will deprive the social sector even more.

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