GEORGE Mpombo says no amount of satanic rumour mongering by the MMD will stop PF leader Michael Sata from going to State House after September 20.
Meanwhile, the Patriotic Front has given ZNBC a three-day ultimatum to retract a false story that its presidential candidate Michael Sata had collapsed while on a campaign trail in Western Province.
In an interview, Mpombo said the time had come for Sata to rule Zambia and that those who were peddling 'satanic' rumours would be shamed this month.
"It is very shameful for a political party that is in government to spread such malicious rumours, this is totally satanic, absolutely satanic. There is no sense of humanity in peddling desperate political concoctions against Mr Sata. It's very sad because we are all here by the grace of God," Mpombo said.
Mpombo said Sata was strong, so was his health and wondered why people were not talking about President Rupiah Banda's knee problem.
"Mr Banda has a serious knee problem and no one is talking about it, so there is a lot of political immaturity in what they are trying to do because each time they tell the public certain false rumours, the opposite always comes out. So really these people who are spreading false rumours on Sata are on the wrong side of history and come September 20, Sata will be at State House regardless of the cheap propaganda," he said.
Mpombo said the continued malicious rumours were a serious violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct and he expected the Electoral Commission of Zambia to seriously come out and strongly condemn the malicious attempts which he said were aimed at misleading the public.
He called on church leaders to also condemn the malice that was being perpetuated by the MMD against Sata.
"We call ourselves a Christian nation and you find that certain church leaders turn a blind eye to the crude violations. When people go out and use uncivilised language, when people come out with baseless allegations against their colleagues, when they resort to cheap political desperation you find that the church is quiet, it's very sad. But if it is Mr. Sata who says something, the same church leaders will be jumping on the band wagon," Mpombo said.
ZNBC on Wednesday evening broadcast a rumour published on Zambian Watchdog online that Sata had collapsed in Western Province.
The same story was published in the state owned but government controlled Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia.
In a letter dated September 8, 2011, to state-owned but MMD government-controlled ZNBC director general Eddie Mupeso and copied to Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson and team leader of the European Union elections observation mission, PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba stated that the broadcaster's conduct violated the electoral Act.
"In the afternoon of Wednesday 7th September 2011, a Mr Chama from the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation telephoned me in my capacity as secretary general of the Patriotic Front and party spokesperson with a press query whether or not it was true that president Michael Sata had fallen down or collapsed while disembarking the helicopter on which he was a passenger on arrival in Nalolo Constituency in Western Province. I responded to him that the information was not true and added that it was all propaganda by the MMD," Kabimba stated. "Going by my response I expected your reporter to professionally verify the authenticity of the story with government agencies or ZANIS in Western Province in order to establish the truth thereof. Instead, and to my dismay, during the main news by ZNBC at 19:00 hours, there was a lead news item reporting that the PF president had collapsed while in Nalolo. This item was carried by ZNBC on the advice of the reporter who had intentionally and maliciously decided not to verify the veracity of the story despite my piece of advice to him as PF secretary general."
He stated that ZNBC proceeded to air the item without taking steps to establish the source and truth of the story.
"As a consequence to the foregoing the PF leadership, Mr. Sata personally and his family were inundated with telephone calls from members and supporters expressing anxiety and apprehension over the story. I was further informed by Mr Sata later in the evening of the same day that a ZNBC female staffer had approached him after the public rally in Kaoma regarding the same story and she was duly informed that no such incident had occurred in Nalolo or anywhere else," Kabimba stated. "It is, therefore, clear from the above that had ZNBC acted professionally to take steps to establish the source and truth of the story, the corporation would not have unfairly covered the story against Mr Sata who is a candidate in the 2011 presidential elections on 20th September 2011. The conduct of ZNBC is in breach of regulation 15(4) as read together with regulation 13(1)(d) of the electoral code of conduct, SI No. 52 of 2011. In view of the forgoing and on behalf of Mr Sata, we demand a retraction of the said story within three days from the date hereof in accordance with regulation 15(6) of the code."
In another letter dated September 8, 2011 to EU delegation leader, Kabimba appealed to the EU and UNDP to help ECZ with funds to advertise the 2011 voters registers in the print media to enhance transparency.
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