Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, Amos Chanda has decided to block Historian and Political commentator Sishuwa Sishuwa on Twitter for questioning why the Presidential spokesperson was conflating his state role with that of the ruling party spokesperson.
The matter stems from a tweet by Mr. Chanda following the recent elections in Bahati and Roan constituencies. The ruling Patriotic Front won the Bahati seat but lost the Roan seat to the NDC a newly formed party.
The following is the exchange on Twitter:
Amos Chanda : Pres.Lungu congratulates Joseph Chishala for winning Roan seat for NDC & PF’s Charles Chalwe for winning Bharti; and all candidates who won local polls. He has called for introspection to understand why the Roan loss. Not a result he desired, but one that democracy delivered.
Sishuwa Sishuwa : One part of your message, focussing on the President’s decision to congratulate all the winners, is highly commendable, though l wish he had also congratulated the losers for enriching our democracy. The introspection part is beyond your role as his aide, since it’s a PF matter.
Amos Chanda : The construction is mine, but the brief was to call the party to an introspection. What then have I exceeded as press aide? You seem confused about role of presidential spokesperson, I think. U may also wish to see my contract and TORs. Yes, losers did their part too!
*Others join in at this point*
Mukwae Njinji : You are press aid to the president of the republic not of the party … leave that role to Sunday Chanda and them.
Amos Chanda : What’s so painful to you about the President’s call to a deep introspection in PF?
Mukwae Njinji : I careless about the President calling for introspect for PF , my issue is you delivering party massage on the Zambian tax payers pen . You need to tell us what plan the government has with the worrying drought expected that’s what pays you.
Amos Chanda : Are you suggesting the party messages I deliver to UPND, NAREP and others must be paid for by those parties?
*The acrimony seems to stem from an exchange by the two earlier in February about a tweet by Sishuwa involving threats of armed violence allegedly made by an unnamed minister to a head of a security institution *
Amos Chanda : “Shishuwa: you neither have the decency to name the “gun” minister and the “threatened officer” nor apologizing for your lies; instead you just move on to another lie or are we dealing with a much more serious condition here?”
Sishuwa Sishuwa : It is impressive that you know everything about every minister including illegalities that they would rather hide. Meanwhile, you must also know that an aide to the President threatened a female head of an investigative agency with a gun. Perhaps you can elaborate who that was??
Lupikisha Emmanuel : If it’s defamation take him to court so that we know the truth.
Amos Chanda : Is it your view that he has the to lies without others recourse to their side of the story? There many Lawyers in Govt and in our social circles to tell us when and whether to go to court. Your unsolicited advice therefore off!
Lupikisha Emmanuel : I get the point! To make his case he needs to mention the name of the minister in question. Correct??
Amos Chanda : Yes. Govt has 30 ministers; 3 women heading law enforcement agencies. Shishuwa says one was threatened with a gun by a minister. He fails to name the villain and victim. When this lie is exposed, he just cooks another of a state house aide threatening another lady security chief!
Wilfred Zulu : Ku State House uku. As a presidential aide, perhaps you can categorically state whether or not YOU personally have at any time threatened a lady security chief. From responses you appear to have someone in mind, even hinting that she has bi-polar. #GiveUs #PlotThickens
Sishuwa Sishuwa : It has become normal for us citizens to have our health questioned & to be showered with other insults by those who consider their positions, positions of privilege rather than a call to duty. There’s always a time for reckoning. For now, l will let you enjoy your privileges, Sir.
*Yesterday Sishuwa tweeted*
Sishuwa Sishuwa :
Here, Amos Chanda, Special Assistant to the President of #Zambia for Press and Public Relations, is, yet again, conflating the role of a presidential aide with that of a party functionary. The role of a presidential aide ends at State engagements; PF matters are for party aides.
Norman Chipakupaku : He does not get it! He is trying to compare the British system! It’s like trying to compare mangos with chillies!!
@AmosNChanda is supposed to be Civil Servant but he is behaving like a PF cadre and is abusing public office to play partisan politics! I feel sorry him !
Sishuwa Sishuwa : Today, l suggested to Amos Chanda, spokesperson of the President of #Zambia, Edgar Lungu, that he should stop conflating his role with that of the spokesperson of the ruling Patriotic Front party. Chanda, instead of engaging in constructive debate, has responded by BLOCKING me!
Norman Chipakupaku : It’s really sad ! Why should people accept public office when they are not ready to be criticised? @AmosNChanda is now behaving as if he is serving a king who should never be held acceptable. I feel sorry for him because every government has an expiry date ! Then agony starts!