The Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) has charged that President Michael Sata’s trip to New York was a “scandalous waste of money” because the Head of State did not do anything while in the United States.
ABZ leader Frank Bwalya said it was unacceptable that President Sata could have led a huge delegation to New York for the United Nations (UN) general assembly summit, a function he did not attend.
Fr Bwalya said President Sata should have stayed home to attend to many other important national issues rather take an astronomically expensive trip to New York and not perform any function.
He said the ministers who travelled with him would have ably represented President Sata as they did and that his presence in New York was irrelevant.
Fr Bwalya said moving a president to far places like the United States often cost a lot of money and that President Sata should have considered the cost implication of his trip that did not help Zambia in any way.
The ABZ leader said President Sata was on record as condemning the abuse of public resources through costly trips that did not benefit Zambians, adding that it was shocking that the Head of State could engage in wasting public resources in the manner he was doing.
Fr Bwalya said President Sata’s voice was still on a named radio station on the Copperbelt where he repeatedly condemned the practices of wasting public resources through expensive presidential trips.
“While President Sata was busy wasting public money on trips that he could have easily delegated to his ministers, some hospitals on the Coperbelt that had acquired dialysis machines did not have consumables for the machines to operate,” he said.
Fr Bwalya said people had to travel all the way to Konkola hospital to access the services of a dialysis machine yet the country had a President who was ‘roaming around the world doing nothing.’’
“Our party, the ABZ, thinks that President Sata’s trip to New York for the United Nations (UN) summit was a scandalous waste of public money. President Sata should have stayed home to attend to many important national issues rather than travel to New York and not perform any function. The ministers would have represented him ably as they did. Moving a president to a far place such as the United States costs a lot of money,” Fr Bwalya said.
He said that many employees in local authorities and public service such as the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Police were not being paid their salaries and advised President Sata to demonstrate that he cared about the suffering of the people by making prudent decisions.
He explained that President Sata was commending his ministers for representing him well at the UN and wondered why the Head of State had travelled all the way to the US just to address his ministers after the UN summit was finished.
“Our position is not that he should rest or recover but we are concerned with the wastage of public resources. They say ‘ichikalipa chumfwa imwine’ (he who feels the pain knows it) and so we believe he is well. We will continue calling on Mr Sata to be moderate because this is a scandalous wasteful of money,” Fr Bwalya said.