LAMECK Mangani (c) says accusing him of plotting to discredit President Lungu’s family is malicious and unfortunate.
And Mangani says there is nothing criminal in the statement issued by Eastern Province information and publicity secretary William Phiri that there is need to bring everyone on board because the political situation in the province is not okay.
Reacting to accusation by PF media director Sunday Chanda that he is working with Colonel Panji Kaunda, a former diplomat and councillor Kennedy Shumba of Chipangali to discredit the first family and that they are hired by UPND, Mangani said he was not interested in kindergarten politics.
“The truth is that I have not been in contact with Col Panji Kaunda for a long time. Yes, I meet some of my colleagues in Eastern Province but that is normal but there is no time I can ever remember that there was some kind of a plot against the first family. As far as I am concerned, I have no issues with the first family and I feel that this is a desperate attempt to try and malign me with the first family. It’s very unfair to put a wage between me and President Lungu’s family; it is extremely unfair. We can do politics but going to this extent is
very unfair, just as I cannot be happy to bring my family into politics, I feel extremely sad,” he said.
Mangani also called for level headedness in the manner people do politics.
“We have to be level headed by promoting healthy debates by looking at serious issues that confront our country, for example, in Eastern Province, it is a known fact that agriculture issues are serious on the ground, let us deal with those issues than to deal with issues of blackmail, character assassination and so on, it will not take us anywhere. I was Minister of Home Affairs in MMD and it has been proved that blackmail does not solve political problems. What solves problems is constructive engagement. For people to just sit and come up with allegations…just because Panji has said this therefore this one is involved in this, that is very unfair. Even at this hour nobody has called me to ask me anything,” he said.
Mangani said Chanda’s reaction to the issue raised by William Phiri was totally out of range.
“I think to some extent William is saying, can we bring everybody on board, I don’t see anything criminal about it. It may be focused on my name but that is a message that let us bring everybody, whether it is Western, Southern, North Western, all those that were instrumental in 2011 or so, let’s bring everybody on board. How do you treat that as criminal?” he queried.
And councillor Shumba said it was not true that he was working with UPND to discredit the first family.
He said both Mangani and Col Panji do not know him.
Shumba said he had never phoned Mangani or Col Panji since he was born.
He said the accusation was just a hate campaign against him.
Chanda in his statement alleged that he had reports that opposition UPND was working with Col Panji, Mangani, Shumba, and a former diplomat to incite the people of Eastern Province against President Lungu.
Col Panji when contacted said he had already given his reaction to Daily Revelation, an online news platform.
Daily Revelation’s Patson Chilemba quoted Col Panji describing PF media director Sunday Chanda and his employers as “a bunch of small little idiots running around midnight chasing their own shadows”.
He was also quoted saying he is not married to the “petticoats and underpants of PF for them to dictate to him what he should and should not do”.
Chanda had accused Mangani, Col Panji, and a former diplomat and a ‘certain self-styled wannabe media guru based in Lusaka’, among others, of working with UPND to scheme against President Edgar Lungu, by targeting people like his daughter Tasila.