By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THE Chinese constructing Shumeite shopping mall in Lusaka’s Kalundu residential area yesterday blasted the Daily Nation reporter whom they accused of being paid to write fake and negative stories about their project.
This was after the tabloid reported that the Chinese had resumed construction on the project despite the High Court on April 24, 2019 halting it basing its ruling on the enforcement notice from the Lusaka City Council.
According to the LCC notice, the Chinese were ordered to demolish the building and restore the land to its original state before the said illegal structure was built, within 28 days starting June 6, 2017.
But the enraged Chinese yesterday summoned the reporter “to clarify” a few things but accused him of being paid by the Kalundu community to write fake stories about Shumeite.
Interpreter to the Chinese, Peter Shawn, singled out Kalundu spokesperson, Namwinga Sichula, as the person who has been paying the reporter and wondered how much she had given the paper to continue with negative publications against Shumeite.
“How much has Namwinga paid for you to continue writing negative stories about us? Where did you get information to write this fake story when the court, LCC, and ZEMA gave us a go-ahead?
“There are other developers who are erecting structures in this community but why are you only targeting us?
There was no way you could write a story without getting our side. Each time you have a story against us, you must get our side also,” Mr. Shawn said.
When reminded that one of the Daily Nation reporters who went to get a comment from them and pictures was on Sunday turned back by the guards, Mr. Shawn remained mute. But when shown the High Court judgement and the LCC enforcement notice and asked to produce the ruling they claimed gave them a go-ahead, Mr. Shawn shouted:
“Go to the council. Go to court and get those documents. What we are telling you is that we have been given authority to go ahead with this project.”
Meanwhile, construction works have continued at the premises.