25.10.2005 General News

Zimbabwean Opposition MP Retracts Statement

Zimbabwean Opposition MP Retracts Statement
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...Kufuor Did Not Give $250,000 The Zimbabwean opposition politician who claimed that the Ghana government paid $250,000 to his party has retracted his statement.

Joe Sikhala's allegation at the weekend sent shock waves round the world as media networks picked up the story, first posted on the website of the Zimbabwean online newspaper, Herald Online.

Mr Sikhala told Joy News from his base in Harare that the claims were merely based on speculation.

In Zimbabwe funding political parties is illegal.

These are excerpts of the interview he had with Joy News reporter Akwasi Sarpong.

Akwasi: When did you retract your statement?

Sikhala: I did it this afternoon when my assistant told me some people were trying to get in touch with me so I retracted it through the Zimbabwean Broadcasting Corporation.

Akwasi: Why did you retract it sir?

Sikhala: The information was not true; it was just some rumours circulating within the party, which cannot be substantiated.

Akwasi: How come you used it at your press conference when it was not substantiated ahead of the conference.

Sikhala: No its speculations, I heard that they could be fighting for the man who I heard received it. That is my major suspicion for the current fight taking place in my party, but I suspect it was on the basis of rumours which turned out not to be real.

Akwasi: So there is no evidence to prove that President Kufuor parted with ¢250,000.

Sikhala: Absolutely, absolutely the statement is not correct par the interview I had with the people. Basically it's through my speculation and it's because of the whole pandemonium that was happening in my party. It was an inconclusive statement so I have long clarified my position in Zimbabwe and retracted the innuendo statement portrayed to the world.

Akwasi: Do you find a reason to go beyond that to apologize to the President of Ghana and Nigeria for the apparent embarrassment your statement may have caused?

Sikhala: No it's basically up to you journalists to report things correctly and in a proper context. So the issue is up to you journalists to put things in proper context and how to say it.