Dickson Jere Defends Rupiah’s Legacy
Former Presidential spokesperson Dickson Jere says fourth Republican President Rupiah still does not understand why some media houses hated him so much to wage vicious campaign against him even before he got the nomination for the MMD Presidency in 2008 and later in 2011.
Featuring on ZNBC’s Sunday Interview programme, Jere who has written a book titled Inside the Presidency, Trials and Tribulations of a Zambian spin doctor said that there was a tendency to blame him for blocking access to the President even when he was not in charge of fixing appointments.
Jere also said that Banda may have lost the 2011 presidential election because he was never given enough opportunity to interact with the electorate.
He said that President Banda suffered as a result of a huge media campaign championed by The Post Newspapers against him.
“This book shows that President Banda was a very unlucky president, that even before he was president there headlines about him, everyday attacking him before he was even nominated as MMD presidential candidate,” Jere said.
“So he came to State House already with a baggage of people biting him for the reasons that he didn’t understand even I even up to now don’t understand. There was just this sustained media campaign against him.”
He said that President Banda may have lost the elections as a result of his handlers neglecting to avail him to the public more often.
Jere said that there was often a misconception that he was locking away the President from meeting party officials and other citizens.
“This thing keeps coming up that I had serious conflicts with the party, I think it was a misunderstanding of what my role was at state house. There was always the thinking that I was the gatekeeper of the president that I was in charge of everything that the president does that if the president had made a mistake it is me who should take the blame,” he said.
“That if the party had failed to have an appointment with the president then I am the one who had blocked that appointment with the president. All these are not true because my role was different, people who are responsible for making appointments with the president are different offices but unfortunately by nature of those offices you don’t come to know who they are so they will pick on the guy who is in public always in the press. So I was a target but I did not have any difficulties with the party.”
Jere also said he get surprised that people are celebrating the Eurobond money acquisition and road projects without acknowledging that it was an MMD initiative.
He said that there was need to give due credit where the former government scored successes.
“Quite a number of things that have come up are the projects which president Banda left… what I am saying is if you talk about the road network we used to call it formula one, if you look at the plan it is a blue print of formula one,” he said.
“When you are talking about the Eurobond, who was the master minder of the Eurobond, the Eurobond was masterminded by president Banda and then minister of finance doctor Musokotwane.”
He added: “But it only came to fruition after we left power, but if you go back and look at the preparations the credit rating who did those? That was the process which was started by president Banda. When I hear people saying we managed to get this K500 oversubscription of the Eurobond I am saying go back to the history books.”