By ANNIE ZULU
DAILY Nation is a credible newspaper that speaks for the voiceless and which the public rely on for information, therefore it is evil for some people to try and silence the newspaper by attempting to burn it down, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Kampamba Mulenga has said.
And Ms Mulenga, who is also Chief Government spokesperson has vowed that Government will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book.
Unknown people on Sunday night, July 9, 2017, petrol bombed the Daily Nation Newspaper premises in Lusaka.
Three petrol bombs were thrown onto the premises by the attackers, but only one exploded, causing a conflagration a few meters from the offices’ main entrance.
However, no injury or damage to property was recorded in the episode as the explosive device landed on a concrete surface.
The Minister described the attempt as “heartless,” stressing that lives and property would have been lost.
She said it was unfortunate that some people could sink so low as to attack a media house for doing its job.
“As Minister of Information and in charge of the media, I was so terrified when I first heard of the attempted bombing of the Daily Nation.
It is so upsetting that for a very long time we have fought for press freedom and we now have perpetrators of bad will that are trying to silence the voice that speaks for the voiceless.
“Daily Nation is a media that is speaking for the countless voices that cannot come out and stand for themselves, as Government we condemn that act. It is just fortunate that no life or property was lost.
“The company also has over 100 employees, imagine what would have happened to them if anything bad happened? Such people are ‘Satanists’, because how can people become so heartless. What are their intentions?” Ms Mulenga wondered.
She added that the media should be allowed to operate without intimidation and fear because it had a crucial role to play in providing information to the public, which was supreme in the consolidation of democracy.
“Our journalists should not live in fear, they should not wake up in the morning and wonder what will happen to them at work.
“And I commend the management of Daily Nation for standing strong. That’s the spirit and Government will continue supporting the media whether it is Government media or private,” she said.
Ms Mulenga warned the perpetrators who had gone on rampage burning public and private properties in the country that their days were numbered and that all their evil plots would soon be exposed.
She said Government was determined to ensure that lives and properties of Zambians were protected.
She also stated that Zambia was a Christian nation and that God could not allow perpetrators to succeed with their evil plans.
“As Government we will not take that kindly and we will not rest until perpetrators are brought to book and most importantly Zambia is a peaceful nation, its foundation is Christianity and God will not allow those perpetrators.
We are praying and when a nation comes together and prays, believe me, these perpetrators will soon be exposed.
“They are not going anywhere because their actions of trying to destroy this nation have failed and will continue to fail,” she said.