Sata breaths fire

President Michael Sata yesterday publicly berated his senior appointees in a predetemined and orchestrated televised session of Cabinet; the first ever as most cabinet meetings are secret.

But civil rights activist Brebner Changala has said the president should stop publicly humiliating his appointees because they were responsible family men who did not deserve such treatment.

The President  castigated ZRA Director General Berlin Msiska for advising Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda to issue a statutory instrument  that lifted 10 per cent export duty and allowed export of copper concentrates to mining companies.

And the President also rebuked vice president Guy Scott for praising the importation of second hand vehicles in Zambia.

Dr. Scott had recently in abstention officiated at opening of Be Forward Zambia Offices, which is a Japanese used car exporter.

President Sata is however of the view that it is not right for Scott to praise the importation of second-hand vehicles 49 years after the country’s independence.

Meanwhile President Sata has directed Emmanuel  Mwamba to revoke nationwide licenses issued to privately own commercial radio stations.

He said the reason why the national broadcasting license had been left only to ZNBC alone was to protect the integrity of the state from possible careless statements that might come from political leaders with ill intentions.

President Sata singled out Radio Phoenix which he said was keenly used by the opposition and especially that it has sold some of its shareholding to a foreign entity.

Changala recalled that it was President Sata who had promised Radio Phoenix and Zambians that he was going to liberalise the airwaves and that it was surprising that the people who were implementing his pledges were now being lambasted for helping him meet his promises.

The president was speaking at State House during a Cabinet meeting where he instructed that preparations of the revocation of the SI should be done immediately.

Changala told the Daily Nation yesterday that it was disheartening that President Sata had made it a habit and norm to humiliate and ridicule public officers without realizing that the officers he was demeaning had families and surbodinates.

He said it was important for President Sata to have respect for his appointees and that his public outburst against the people who were helping him implement his programmes was embarrassing.

Changala said Mwamba was being magnanimous by giving national broadcasting licences to Radio Phoenix and other radio stations because that was what the PF promised.