The UPND says the national broadcaster ZNBC should be ashamed of itself for lying about the reasons its former member Innocent Kalimanshi went into self-imposed exile in South Africa.
ZNBC claimed in a news item yesterday that Kalimanshi, who has announced his resignation from the UPND to rejoin the ruling PF, fled the country into exile in South Africa following wrangles in the UPND.
But UPND National Information and Publicity Secretary Samuel Ngwira has advised the state-owned broadcaster to be factual, pointing out that Kalimanshi actually fled the country due to constant persecution and arrests by the “brutal” PF regime.
“We have noticed very misleading media reports by ZNBC alleging that Innocent Kalimanshi fled the country into exile in South Africa following wrangles in the UPND,” Ngwira said in a statement today.
“As a public broadcaster with supposedly trained journalists, we expect ZNBC to try and be factual even in their known biased reports.
“The truth is Innocent Kalimanshi is among the many citizens who fled the country into exile due to constant persecutions and arrests by the brutal PF regime ever since he left the ruling party.”
And Ngwira has revealed that Kalimanshi has an outstanding bench warrant for skipping bail on one of his cases, adding that the party is waiting to see if the authorities will enforce the warrant now that Kalimanshi has joined the ruling party.
“In fact, we are aware that Innocent Kalimanshi, who is still being represented by the UPND lawyers, is currently under court bench warrant for skipping bail on some case, and we wait to see how the PF will handle his matters now that he has rejoined the PF.
“We actually have no doubt that had Innocent Kalimanshi entered back into the Zambian borders as a UPND member, he would have been nabbed right at the borders like they did with Chama Fumba aka Pilato when he arrived back in Zambia.
“These are simple and basic facts that a decent media house can easily get from law enforcement agencies, court records, or even an interview with the UPND leadership.”
Meanwhile, Ngwira has made it clear that the UPND has no ill-feelings towards Kalimanshi, who was a member of former UPND vice president Geoffrey Mwamba’s security team, and others who have rejoined the PF.
“As a democratic party, the UPND has no grudge against those who rejoin the PF and seek some temporal relief from the wrath of this dictatorial regime.
“We wish Kalimanshi all the best as he finally settles back in Zambia. He may no longer be constantly harassed by the PF brutality being a PF member now,” Ngwira stated.
He sympathised with Kalimanshi, saying it is not easy to be in the opposition under the current brutal PF regime.
“And these are facts that Kalimanshi should equally know deep down in his heart since he has various testimonies of how he has personally been the subject of political persecution since he resigned from the PF to join our party.
“We therefore expect him to continue remembering the tribulations he went through as he conducts himself back into the PF politics.”