Friday, April 06, 2007

Don't eat with both hands, sata tells VJ

Don't eat with both hands, sata tells VJ
By George Chellah
Friday April 06, 2007 [04:00]

Vernon Mwaanga should desist from eating with both hands, Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata said yesterday. Commenting on information minister Mwaanga's statement that his remarks in the DRC that the Zambian government owes Katanga Province governor Moses Katumbi US$7 million for the maize he supplied a few years ago were distorted, Sata expressed surprise at Mwaanga's statement.

"This government never ceases to amaze us. There is no way The Post and other publications both in French and English could misquote VJ. Let him just tell us that somebody has threatened him that he will go like former lands minister Gladys Nyirongo that’s why he now wants to deny,” Sata said. “Did he think that we won’t know what was happening in the DRC? Let him just come out in the open. You can’t eat with both hands and VJ should desist from eating with both hands. He cannot continue doing that.

“In this era of Internet, surely can somebody afford to misquote or distort anyone’s words from another publication? VJ shouldn’t panic because I am sure that if he is fired, Katumbi can look after him very well.”

Sata said Mwaanga’s days were numbered.

“Probably this is what the Bible talks about that ‘he whom God wants to destroy he first makes them mad...’ So may be that’s why some people could say something today and forget it tomorrow,” Sata said. “If he is not careful he is going, it’s just a matter of time. Levy afforded him a last chance because he ate in Kaunda and Chiluba’s regimes but no government will accommodate him anywhere because we all know his true colours.”

Sata urged Mwaanga not to panic over what he said in the DRC.
“Let him be a man, let him be bold enough because no amount of his diplomacy will clear this matter. I am sure that he must have said it... I know VJ when he is pressed against the wall, that’s how he behaves,” he said.

Sata teasingly said that for the first time, Mwaanga had said the truth.
“VJ is being very honest on Katumbi and should not retreat,” Sata said.

He said Mwaanga knew what he was talking about in the DRC because he knows the transactions between the Chiluba administration and Katumbi.

However, Sata wondered why it had taken the government four years to admit that it owed Katumbi money.

“If they owe Katumbi money, why have they been chasing him all this while? Let them just apologise to the nation that they have been using the fight against corruption for political expedience,” he said.

Mwaanga has denied saying that the Zambian government owes Katumbi US$7 million for the maize he supplied a few years ago, despite two different DRC newspapers quoting him as having said it.
Mwaanga said he suspects that the distortion of the story could have occurred during the translation from French to English.

But the African Press Agency (APA), which reported the same story on the same day in English as the French publication, quoted Mwaanga in part as follows:

“Commenting on the information released by the Zambian media which reported that Moise Katumbi Chapwe, the governor of Katanga, is wanted by the Zambian court, Mwaanga said his country was not informed on the issue.

Instead he explained that the Zambian government rather owed Chapwe, 7 million dollars for the maize he delivered in 2001.”
And the Le Potentiel newspaper of the DRC whose story Mwaanga is disputing reported in part in French that:

“Ensuite, le porte-parole du gouvernement zambien a tenu à fixer l’opinion sur les prétendues poursuites judiciaires qu’aurait engagées son pays à l’encontre du gouverneur du Katanga Moïse Katumbi. Selon Veji Mwanga, c’est plutôt l’Etat zambien qui doit à Moïse Katumbi une bagatelle de sept millions de Usd. Cette somme représente la valeur de la quantité de maïs fourni par ce dernier. Quant au prétendu dossier judiciaire qui serait réactivé à Lusaka, il s’agit d’un montage grossier d’une certaine presse zambienne à la solde des groupes impliqués dans le commerce illicite en RDC des minerais congolais. Et dont les camions ont été bloqués à Kasumbalesa pour exportation frauduleuse de marchandises.”

The literal translation of this quote is: “Mwaanga also sought to clarify, the opinion on his government’s alleged judicial action against Katumbi. According to Mwaanga, it is in fact Zambia that owes Katumbi a trifle US $7 million, the sum being the value of the maize supplied by Katumbi. As far the alleged judicial case which would be reactivated in Lusaka, Mwaanga said it was an ill-conceived fabrication by a Zambian newspaper with a view to destroying groups of people alleged to be involved in illegal trade of Congolese minerals in DRC, and whose trucks were blocked at Kasumbalesa for alleged fraudulent exportation.”

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home