The United Party for National Development (UPND) has demanded that President Michael Sata must with immediate effect stop addressing the nation through statements from his press aide George Chellah but should have the courage to face the people and explain the economic and political state of the nation.
The UPND has said Zambians did not vote for Mr Chellah in the 2011 elections and did not expect President Sata to withdraw himself from the people with long spells of absence .
UPND trustee for presidential affairs Connywell Sakala has said Zambians have been asking over the whereabouts of President Sata because the Head of State had turned himself into an absentee president.
Mr Sakala said Zambians have been bombarded by unending swearing-in ceremonies and press statements from Mr Chellah who was not part of the presidency even if he was the spokesperson for President Sata.
Mr Sakala told the Daily Nation that Zambians were not interested in listening to press statements from Mr Chellah but were looking for a time when President Sata would come out in the open and address the nation publicly so that people could have a chance to interact with him over the many challenges affecting them.
He said Zambians had been subjected to the largest number of press statements most of which did not address the real and multiple economic and political challenges the country was facing.
Mr Sakala said Mr Chellah was not the President and that his statements were not the way the country was supposed to be governed.
He said President Sata was the first Head of State to have opted to govern the country through his press aide stating that governments all over the world were not run via statements.
“President Sata has made history of being the most atypical Head of State Zambia has ever had and we wonder why he has developed a sudden fear for the people he used to interact with so warmly and heartily before he became President. What has gone wrong with the man of action who while minister in the MMD government would make impromptu visits to public offices and demand hard work. Now he is holed up in State House and we do not know when we are going to see him,” Mr Sakala said.
He explained that President Sata had opened himself to speculation because his absence from the public was raising too many questions that only he and not his aide or ministers would be able to answer.
Mr Sakala said Zambia was being governed by an absentee president who had seen fit to delegate to his ministers state functions that demanded his personal presence.
He said the people of the Copperbelt who voted massively for him were feeling used and abandoned because Mr Sata had never visited the people to thank them over the massive vote he received from them.
Mr Sakala explained that President Sata owed Zambians an explanations on why the many promises he made during his campaign have not been met and why Zambia had become so divided and tense under his leadership.