Cabinet has been challenged to state the constitutional status of President Michael Sata and clear speculations and rumours that Patriotic Front (PF) secretary General Wynter Kabimba has continued to act as republican President even after the return of the Head of State from Israel where he had gone for working holiday.
People’s Party (PP) president Mike Mulongoti has said that Zambia shall always have one President at a time and that it would be unlawful for any other person to act as President of the country while the Head of State was around.
Mr Mulongoti said there had been a lot of speculations and rumours that Mr Kabimba who is Justice Minister had continued acting after President Sata returned from Israel were worrying and that it was important for government to tell the nation what was exactly happening.
Mr Mulongoti said the implication of Mr Kabimba continued acting as President was that President Sata had become incapable of performing the functions of the office of president.
President Sata returned from Israel on Friday as quietly as he left the country on Friday, 20th June 2014 but yesterday, Zambians were yet again treated to speculations that Mr Kabimba had continued acting as republican President.
Efforts to get a comment from government chief spokesperson Dr Joseph Katema failed as his mobile phone was switched off and a text message sent to him was not responded to.
Presidential press aide George Chellah could also not be reached because his mobile phone was equally off while a text message sent to him asking if it was true that Mr Kabimba had continued acting was not responded.
Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska terminated the call as soon as this reporter introduced himself and a text message sent to him to find out whether Mr Kabimba was still acting was also not responded.
But sources close to Mr Kabimba told the Daily Nation that Mr Kabimba was not acting as President and that he had handed over the instruments of the functions of the office of president to the Head of State.
Mr Mulongoti said government should not misunderstand Zambians demanding that there should be transparency in the way governance and presidential powers were being handled because process was not only a highly sensitive matter but constitutional.
“The constitution provides that there shall be one president at a time and when he travels out, he delegates his presidential function to a person of his choice. When comes back home, the acting immediately falls off. There has been a lot of speculation from the time President left for Israel and we have continued being subjected to rumours. Why should it be difficult for government to inform citizens about the correct position on sensitive matters such as these? We should not be understood when we raise these questions because as Zambians, we have the right to know,” Mr Mulongoti said.
Mr Mulongoti said he did not want to think that there were masqueraders in the presidency and that was why he was challenging government to clear the speculations that were chocking Zambians.
He said it was sad that the office of the chief government spokesperson was not helping the country on informing Zambians on the political and governance developments taking place in the country.
He said there was a lot of anxiety and tension in the country that had been created by government stating that it was wrong to continue subjecting citizens to rumours on matters of national importance.
Mr Mulongoti observed that the silence surrounding the happenings at State House was an indication that the governance system had completely collapsed and that those in government were indirectly asking Zambians to find an alternative group of people to take over government.
He said allowing and perpetrating rumours would easily promote anarchy which he said could be avoided by clear communication.