Former Post Newspapers Senior Reporter during the Fredrick Chiluba led MMD Administration Reuben Phiri has died. Mr. Phiri who was among the twelve journalists from the same Media house that were charged with espionage on 1st November, 1999, died this morning around 07:00 hours at Levi Mwanawasa Hospital in Lusaka.
The espionage charge followed the publication of a report on the Zambian army’s weaponry by the newspaper fortnight before the arrest. The report caused an uproar in Zambia’s parliament, prompting the deputy speaker to order the Minister of Defence to take “appropriate” action against the newspaper.
And his third-born son Khuzwayo Phiri confirmed the death. According to Khuzwayo, the cause of his father’s death is Low Blood Pressure. Mr. Phiri survived by a wife and four children.
He was only admitted at Levi Mwanawasa Hospital for 48 hours. And FORMER State House press aide Dickson Jere has described Reuben Phiri as an amazing, down to Earth and fearless journalist who loved his job.
Meanwhile, Former Information Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga who worked with Reuben Phiri, described him as a brilliant journalist with a sharp analytical mind coupled with a very good sense of humour.
Mr. Malupenga said Reuben was determined to get that unique and juicy story.
“I am numb and lost for words. Reuben was a brilliant journalist with a sharp analytical mind. He was determined to get that unique and juicy story. With his military background, it was always pleasant and sometimes mesmerizing to hear him give instructions in the newsroom,” Mr Malupenga said.
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