The Empty Propaganda against Chikwanda
The following editorial appeared in today’s edition of the Daily Nation:
Joseph Goebbels the Nazi propagandist was a master at deception and twisting facts. He would build an entire hate campaign on the basis of twisted and convoluted facts.
His greatest strength was persistence. He opined that a lie repeated often enough would soon become a truth in public perception.
This is what Zambia is witnessing today in the Patriotic Front leadership struggle where a contending force has decided to eliminate competition by peddling lies and half-truths.
They are so desperate for power that they will use any means possible to destroy any possible contender who may frustrate their desperate hold on power and the protection it accords them for the crimes for which they will inevitably pay.
So desperate are they that using a classified Government letter, obviously leaked by a member of the ambitious clique that is determined to take over power, an impression has been created that Government was intent on ‘paying’ Mines an unjustified US $600 in VAT refunds.
What these Apostles and High Priests of hate do not mention is the fact that there is a law in existence of VAT refund which compels Government to refund VAT. This is Government policy.
What our Goebbels does not say is that the money has been withheld because of stringent conditionalities which Government has put in place to avoid abuse of the facility.
It is important for Zambians to note that the entire debate is based on a leaked Government letter surreptitiously released to further a political cause.
This is despicable because the entire truth about VAT should have been told instead of manipulating information to champion a cause that was intended to benefit the interest of the clique.
We have no wish of supporting Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda whom we have criticised before, but we have always based our criticism on fact.
We hate injustice, calumny and calculated peddling of lies to injure people. We have seen what damage calumny can cause. People have been driven to their early graves because of systematic lies that have been peddled without any regard to veracity, morality or indeed empathy on the basis of common humanity. That is why we are very concerned by two things, the lies against the Minister and the blanket accusation and demonization of the mining industry which still remains as the main stay of our economy.
Mining is hard business as an investor has to first pump in a lot of financial resources without ever knowing what the future holds.
We have followed with disbelief the sustained crusade against the mining industry. People who should know better than make careless and unguarded emotional statements that inflame and jeopardise the industry.
These are people who championed the case of development agreements and Greenfield development programmes when the mines were on the verge of collapse at the end of the UNIP reign.
It is shocking that there are people propagating lies and indeed advocating breaking the law regarding VAT refunds on the pretext of being more Zambian and therefore more concerned with ensuring that the Zambian people received their due benefits from the mines.
Our memories should not be that short to forget about the suffering the miners went through before the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) was unbundled and later sold to investors.
This was a time when the Government paid to keep the mines running. It took courageous decision to reverse the trend and return the mines to profitability, indeed to a point when a debate on windfall taxes can be held.
It is the Goebbels of this world who will fail to appreciate the tremendous effort that previous Government exercised in incremental policy measures to arrive at the economic status Zambia is enjoying today.