SOMEONE is benefiting from exposing President Michael Sata to the public, especially that it is now clear that the Head of State is unwell, Independent Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi Patrick Mucheleka has charged.
And Zambia Direct Democracy Movement vice-president Charles Kafumbo says it is shocking that the family of President Sata and the entire Cabinet can allow him travel abroad which exposes his state of health to the world.
But Vice-President Guy Scott says President Sata is not being forced by anyone in government to continue working despite widespread concern that he is unwell and that he should take a rest.
Mr Mucheleka said in an interview in Lusaka that it was heartless for PF to allow President Sata to address Parliament in the state in which he was presented.
He appealed to First Lady Christine Kaseba, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda and PF chairperson Inonge Wina to meet to come up with a common position on the way forward regarding President Sata’s future public engagements.
Mr Mucheleka said the PF should realize that President Sata was entitled to leave as per Article 39 (1) of the Constitution and should not be forced to make public appearances when he was not feeling well.
He said PF leaders should not look at the positions they were holding and the privileges they were enjoying because of President Sata.
“I wish to appeal to three people; the Vice President Guy Scott, the Finance Minister Mr Alexander Chikwanda who is Mr Sata’s relative and the PF chairperson, Inonge Wina to sit down with Mr Sata’s family to find a way forward,” Mr Mucheleka said.
And Mr Kafumbo said people close to the President should not pretend that all was well with the Head of State by subjecting him to stress activities like the long trip to the United States which he could delegate to the Vice President or other ministers.
“The President needs rest. We are not doing him a favour when we have openly seen his inabilities, and pretend to ignore it. What contribution can he make to the UN Assembly in his current state of health? It is not fair,” he said.
But Dr. Scott said if President Sata has chosen to continue working despite calls that he take a rest from his presidential duties to recuperate from his alleged illness, it was because the President knows that it was the right thing to do to continue with his work.
He told Radio QFM monitored in Lusaka that people calling for the Head of State to rest should be mindful that politicians do not rest as they would want President Sata to. He said as far as he was concerned he was happy that the President opened Parliament on Friday and did give a brief description of the PF government’s policy and a good indication of the ruling party’s direction.