A commission of inquiry into the death of President Michael Sata, who Government maintained had never been sick and was effectively performing his functions, must be established so that Zambians can know what caused the sudden death of the Head of State, Brebner Changala has demanded.
Mr Changala, a civil rights activist, said Vice-President Guy Scott, Cabinet ministers and a newspaper had on several occasions told Zambians that President Sata was not ill but that it was shocking that the Head of State could suddenly die without being sick.
Mr Changala has appealed to Government and President Sata’s family to allow for the establishment of a commission of inquiry that would investigate what could have caused the sudden death of the Head of State.
In July this year, Mr Changala applied to the Lusaka High Court to compel Cabinet to constitute a medical board to investigate the physical and mental health of President Sata to continue holding the office of President.
But High Court Judge In-charge Isaac Chali, in rejecting Mr Changala’s application, described the civil rights activist as a busy body who had a misguided and trivial complaint of administrative error.
Judge Chali also attacked the Daily Nation that had been carrying stories about the ill-health of President Sata that the newspaper reports were unguarded to the point of what he termed being reckless and scandal-mongering.
Mr Changala said Dr Scott as Vice-President was a credible leader who assured the nation for more than four times that President Sata was well and performing his duties and should therefore inform Zambians what could have caused the sudden and untimely death of the Head of State.
Mr Changala said on October 20, 2014, State House announced that President Sata had travelled abroad for a medical check-up. Mr Changala said Dr Scott was on record telling Parliament as well as the media, both local and international that nobody should worry about President Sata’s health because he (Sata) was fit contrary to a flurry of rumours and speculations that the Head of State was unwell. He said a number of Cabinet Ministers were on record as having said that President Sata was enjoying good health and that there was no cause for Zambians to worry.
Mr Changala recalled that Secretary to Cabinet Roland Msiska through a High Court sworn affidavit on September 29, 2014 declared that President was fit while describing Mr Changala’s judicial review on the establishment of a medical board as frivolous and vexatious. Barely three weeks after Dr Msiska declared President Sata fit, the Secretary to Cabinet announced the death of President Sata in London without elaborating the cause of death.
“During the judicial review for the establishment of a medical board for President Sata, Dr Msiska tendered before the High Court a sworn affidavit to the effect that President Sata was fit and performing his duties as he had opened Parliament and travelled to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly. On October 29, Dr Msiska shocked the nation when he announced the death of President Sata without elaborating. Was the President in a road accident or indeed involved in some unforeseen calamity? There should be no more secrecy and mystery about this tragedy,” Mr Changala said.
Mr Changala wondered whether Dr Scott and Government deliberately decided to mislead Zambians on the health of President Sata. He wondered why President Sata failed to address the UN General Conference adding that Zambians were asking why the late President was withdrawn from public eye if he was fit and working.
“Dr Scott and Cabinet will have to face a commission of inquiry for deliberately misleadfing Zambians about President Sata’s health. Five days before the independence Golden Jubilee, Dr Scott told ENCA, a South African news television channel that President Sata would be available for the uhuru celebrations but this did not happen,” Mr Changala said.