I found something interesting in IVerify - No, District Commissioners have not abandoned offices in Eastern Province after General Elections

No, District Commissioners have not abandoned offices in Eastern Province after General Elections


Acting Provincial Permanent Secretary for Eastern Province and Eastern Province Commissioner of Police refute the claim, confirming all the DCs are in their offices.

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Verified Sep, 02 2021


On 19th August 2021, Breeze FM Radio reported that some District Commissioners in Eastern Province had left their offices because of the hostile environment after President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema was declared the winner of the 12th August 2021 General Elections. Among them was Chadiza District Commissioner, Mr. George Phiri who was reported to have abandoned his office because cadres threatened the DCs’ lives. He told Breeze FM that, “property for DCs offices for Mambwe, Petauke, Vubwi were damaged by cadres who threatened their lives and that of their families”.

Rating Justification

The Fact-Checking has determined as False the claim made by Breeze FM that some DCs in Eastern Province had abandoned their offices due to the hostile environment. iVerify contacted the Acting Provincial Permanent Secretary Mr. Josphat Lombe on 20th August 2021, who stated that the story was false. In the phone call, Mr. Lombe said that “All the District Commissioners are in their offices and there has been no report that I have received concerning damage of property and hostile environment. The DCs that are not in their offices are on leave.” He added that all DCs had continued to submit reports to him and would officially leave office when they were told to do so. Chadiza District Commissioner, Mr. George Phiri who is reported to have abandoned his office also denied the report. He explained that his office was not abandoned and that as civil servants, the DCs were working with the government of the day. Sometimes this position creates public impression that DCs are cadres when they are simply implementing government policies. Furthermore, iVerify called the Eastern Province Commissioner of Police, Mr. Geza Lungu for more information on the matter. He explained that he had not received any report concerning cadres damaging property of the DCs and threatening their lives and that of their families. However, he stated that after the announcement of the 2021 General Election results, the cadres went to government offices and were told to handle over the keys. Mr. Lungu said “They put down portraits of President Edgar Lungu. The police then went to these areas and addressed the situation. The province is now calm. The cadres do not know how the government operates, so they have been going around asking government officers to hand over keys to them. They have been doing this not necessary to the DC offices but generally.” iVerify fact checking has not found any other online available evidence.

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