PLEASE, allow me space in your paper to respond to a damning article ‘President’s son charged for drunken driving’ as featured in Informante of 15 May 2008.
To those who know and are aware of my persona, you may find this response to be unnecessary – to the broader masses, however, I felt highly compelled to respond for the sake of the truth.
It is indeed true that I drove under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for the offence. It is however a blatant lie as apparently submitted by so-called eye-witnesses who stated that upon my arrival at the police station, I had apparently made quite an entrance by announcing myself as the President’s son with the hope that it would, as Informante puts it, help me escape the jaws of the law.
It was further reported that I said that the police could not arrest me as I am the President’s son.
First of all, the law is the law and as I know the law in this country, it does not discriminate on (among others) the basis of one’s social standing, not the President, let alone his or her children for that matter.
In the early morning hours of 30 April 2008, the following transpired: the traffic and police officers arrived at the scene and I got particularly upset when one of them kept rubbing in my face the fact that I am the President’s son.
I reacted by stating that, although the President’s son, I am first and foremost my father’s son, a human being, who is just as susceptible to making errors like any other person.
The other officials who were present may attest to this. In fact, this is what got me irritated for the duration of that morning.
Honestly, after having put off that official for his constant bickering on my being the President’s son, would I then contract my actions by going to the Police Station and announce myself as the President’s son, and while about to be put in a cell for that matter?
I don’t think those guys would have appreciated that statement and mob justice most likely would have been the order of the day. But of course, Informante will always go around that inconvenient truth as theirs is to add salt to injury.
Your so-called eye-witnesses does not know the humble upbringing my parents gave me, to know better than to boast about this and that, therefore the perception this reporter tried so hard to paint of me as being vain is ludicrous.
I wouldn’t under any circumstances use my father’s position as leverage for getting out of a station. I look at him as first and foremost as a father and address him as, His Excellency the President in my official duties.
The ability of Informante to concoct stories merely for purposes of tarnishing one’s image is amazing.
Above, I have referred to the eye-witnesses as ‘so-called’ simply because this reporter has convinced himself that they do exist, then again, eye-witness to what?
Upon my arrival at the station, there were two officials on duty – one of whom took down my details. I am sure that they can attest to my conduct as having been nothing out of the ordinary.
Now, for this reporter to claim that his so-called eyewitnesses were not amused when I made that supposed boastful entrance is regrettable simply because, there was nothing to witness.
If perhaps he was referring to the two officials who brought me in and the two that were on duty that morning, then it would be a different story altogether as this reporter would really have had witnesses who would attest to my conduct as having been normal. But to Informante, such testimony would render the four officials as ‘not credible witnesses’.
It is clear, a story in Informante can not be good enough if it does not trigger reaction such as : What! Who! When! How embarrasing! Etc., from its readers.
Therefore, these reactions had to be triggered somewhere in this story and the triggers were as follows: eye-witnesses not amused by my alleged outburst of being the President’s son apparently hoping to avoid the jaws of the law, and ‘you can’t arrest me, I am the President’s son’ – I was apparently quoted as saying.
Something to this effect had to feature somewhere in the story because to Informante, it would be the biggest crime for the President’s son (whose father’s stance on corruption is clear), to have been arrested and behaved himself in an unorderly manner.
These so called eye-witnesses, I may never know as the profession conveniently has this rule of not revealing their sources, therefore, this will always be used as a scapegoat to publishing whatever they wish, how they wish. Informante does not waste time in taking full advantage of this provision.
In the final analysis, it is clear that your true intention is to tarnish my father’s good name in his capacity as President. At the same time, I cannot run away from the fact that I have brought shame on him as a father, most importantly, and to his Presidency – this is something I duly regret.
Informante went and blew the story out of proportion through exaggerating the facts as sought from their fictitious witnesses. Not surprising!
The President’s stance on corruption is well known and because of this, Informante has taken advantage of this incident to imply that whilst the President is condemning corruption, it exists is in his house.
I may have been corrupt purely on the basis of driving under the influence, as driving under the influence is in itself a corrupt practice – otherwise, my alleged outbursts from which this reporter made the epicentre of his story are laughable.
It is sad the extent to which Informante would go, in its quest to miss-Inform. I would describe your feeble attempts to discredit me and particularly my father in his capacity as President, as nothing short of pitiful.
This will not deter him from continuing to condemn and fight corruption in this country regardless of whom the perpetrator (s) may be (his own children included).
I take full responsibility for my actions and take comfort and relief in the fact that nobody was hurt. I am going through legal proceedings like any other person who may find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Informante can forget about me apologising for not being perfect in my conduct as a human being (driving under the influence), regardless of who my father and or mother for that matter, may be.
Lets Inform, not miss-Inform!