Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has said the demands by Zambians that President Sata should be publicly available are paradoxical because the same people who were complaining about the Head of State’s withdrawal from public appearances were the same who condemned the President over his swearing in ceremonies.
Mr Kalaba has also said President Sata was delegating the Vice-President Guy Scott and Ministers to attend international assignments as a cost saving measure.
Mr Kalaba has pledged that he would tell President Michael Sata to consider calling for a press conference because he had realised that Zambians loved the Head of State and were missing his public appearances.
Mr Kalaba has however described as paradoxical demands by some Zambians that President Sata should be publicly available and address the nation on a number of pressing national issues.
He said President Sata had his own style of governing the country and that the Head of State was delegating ministers and Vice-President on international assignments as a means of cost saving measures.
Speaking when he featured on Radio Phoenix Let the People Talk programme yesterday, Mr Kalaba said President Sata would not be in Zimbabwe for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) meeting because he (Kalaba) had been delegated to represent him as Foreign Affairs Minister.
He said President Sata had appointed Ministers to help him government and that there was nothing wrong for the ministers to talk on his behalf and project his vision of taking development to every part of the country.
Mr Kalaba said he was with President Sata on Monday during a cabinet meeting and that the Head of State was effectively performing his functions adding that the concerns by Zambians about the Head of State’s absence from public appearances were genuine.
He said he would relay the message to President Sata that Zambians were missing his presence and that they were anxious to hear from him.
Mr Kalaba said it was not strange for President Sata to delegate his ministers to represent him on various fora adding that most presidents in the world were doing the same without any fuss from citizens.
“President Sata has his own style of governing. The President has been delegating the Vice-President and Ministers to represent him on international assignments so as to save costs. And it is paradoxical that the same people who were complaining about the President’s swearing-in ceremonies are now demanding that the President should be seen every day. I was with the President yesterday during a cabinet meeting. I have realised how Zambians love President Sata and I will go and tell him that people are missing you…they want you to talk to them,” Mr Kalaba said.
And Mr Kalaba said the PF had performed beyond the expectations of many Zambians and that the developmental programmes the ruling party was pursuing were unprecedented.
He said the PF would not waste time responding to its detractors because its concentration was to deliver development to the people who voted for President Sata and the ruling party.
Mr Kalaba said the opposition political parties were panicking because the PF had removed the carpet from under their feet with the economic infrastructure development across the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Kalaba has strongly condemned the violence that erupted in Mangango constituency saying politics should be a contest of serving the people and not maiming each other.
He said Zambians must learn to co-exist despite their political affiliations adding it was important for the opposition political parties to accept that the PF was in government.
Mr Kalaba said under President Sata, Zambia’s human rights record had greatly improved and that opposition political parties were enjoying the freedom of assembly without hindrance.
“The fact of the matter is that we have tried to respect human rights and it is not our intention to tramp on people’s freedoms and rights. Zambians believe that PF is delivering to their expectations and we have made a difference. I want to assure Zambians that they have an impeccable and great leader in President Sata,’ Mr Kalaba said.