14 November 2011

Zambia: Police Probe East MMD Rumour Mongers

POLICE in Eastern Province have instituted investigations into reports that seven MMD officials are allegedly behind spreading rumours that President Michael Sata had died.

Eastern Province deputy commissioner of police Anderson Cheengo confirmed that the police had opened an inquiry into the matter. Last week, rumours circulated in the province that Mr. Sata had died and made many people panic.

"The police are investigating the matter and I will avail you with the details including the appropriate charge once the investigations are done," Mr. Cheego said. He said the provincial secretary Eularia Mwale called him to inform him about the rumours that President Sata had died.

And Patriotic Front provincial chairperson Lucas Phiri alleged that the seven MMD officials, who included Chipangali Member of Parliament (MP) Vincent Mwale, spread the rumour about President Sata during a by-election campaign meeting for Rukuzye Ward in Chipangali Constituency held at Vizenge Village.

"The PF reported seven MMD officials to the police for defaming Republican President Michael Sata including spreading false information that he had died.

"They include MMD Chipangali MP Vincent Mwale and Rukuzye ward aspiring candidate and other party officials," he said. But when reached for a comment, Mr. Mwale denied ever defaming Mr. Sata.

He said he never issued such a statement, adding that he was mature enough to know that such rumours amounted to a treasonable offence. Mr. Mwale challenged Mr. Phiri to produce evidence on the allegations levelled against him.

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