President Michael Sata has threatened to dissolve Parliament if his Cabinet ministers and members of the central committee do not initiate propaganda to defend his bloated Bemba Cabinet against attacks by opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema.
Addressing Cabinet ministers and members of his party’s central committee at State House yesterday, President Sata threatened senior party officials and ministers with Parliament dissolving and a call for general elections; the second time he has done so in his couple of years’ old rule; the first being the time when he has had just assumed the Presidency and complained that opposition members of parliament were frustrating debates in the House.
The President said his government was being wholesomely criticised and that his Cabinet ministers and members of the party premier organ were not responding.
President Sata said United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema had accused him of having a bloated Cabinet and yet no minister or central committee member was defending the size of his Cabinet.
“Members of the central committee and Cabinet ministers, before we start our Cabinet meeting, I want to challenge you. Why are you not talking, why are you so quiet because if you think you are not fit to be what you are, let me know so that I can dissolve Parliament so that we can go for general elections. Because we are being pounded left, right and centre,” President Sata said.
He said the UPND leader Hichilema had branded his Cabinet tribal and explained that ministers like Wylbur Simuusa, Emmanuel Chenda, Wynter Kabimba and John Phiri were not Bemba.
‘Since when did Simuusa (Foreign Affairs Minister) Chenda (Commerce and Trade), Wynter (Justice Minister) become Bemba? They are not Bemba. You are not replying and who do you think is going to reply for you?” President Sata asked.
He said unless the ministers and members of the central committee came out and defended his government, nobody would and the opposition would continue attacking his government.