Friday, January 23, 2009

Sata questions Rupiah’s meeting with Gaddafi

Sata questions Rupiah’s meeting with Gaddafi
Written by Lambwe Kachali and Mwala Kalaluka
Friday, January 23, 2009 7:11:32 AM

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata yesterday challenged President Rupiah Banda to tell the nation what he had gone to do in Libya since he went without journalists from government-controlled media, including press aide Dickson Jere.

In an interview, Sata said it was shocking that President Banda also refused to talk to journalists at Lusaka International Airport on his return from Libya. Sata reminded President Banda that he went to Libya using taxpayers’ money and, therefore, Zambians had the right to know what he discussed with Libyan President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, especially that there was an announcement that his visit was official.

“He went to Libya using the people’s money... His only wish is to become more comfortable. He is Rupiah Banda, the walker, because for example in less than 90 days, he has been to Nigeria, he has been to Libya, he has been to Kasaba Bay, he has been to Mfuwe,” Sata said.

“Now how much did he spend? And first of all, what did he go to Libya for? What other business is he going to promote? What other special business did he go to Libya for? Did he go to find another businessman to come and buy the mines?” Sata asked.

“You remember, the Libyans at one time were offered several hectares of land in Central Province by then [late president Levy] Mwanawasa. What did he go there for? That is why many people are confused.”

Sata said even if it was a private visit, any president in the world travels under public eye. He said President Banda's decision to go to Libya without the media was not only surprising but also unprecedented since Zambia's independence.

“This is Rupiah Banda, the walker. Any president all over the world, even if it is a private visit, he must go under the public eye. He cannot go excluding the press. If he wanted to be so secretive, why didn't he go with his own aeroplane? Why did he use a Zambian aeroplane? Why did he use the peoples' money, if he wanted to be so secretive?” Sata asked.

“But since he used Zambians' money to go to Libya, he must tell us what he went to Libya for? If he wanted, he would have gone privately to Libya, where people would have said that 'no it is his private business'. But he used our own aeroplane. He used our own pilots,” said Sata.

“We also want him to tell us, because he has never told us what he went to Nigeria for and what he went to Libya for. Kasaba Bay, he has told us that he went to sale Kasaba Bay. What has he sold in those countries? Let us put pressure on him to tell us. We need to be told.”

And when contacted, chief government spokesperson Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha said President Banda already made a statement at the airport on his return.

But when reminded that President Banda did not speak to the press, Lt Gen Shikapwasha said he would consult Jere and would later issue a statement.

“I was not aware of that. Öh, I was out for a funeral in Chibombo. So maybe let me find out from Dickson and see if he has a statement he can give you. I am aware, but I have many other areas that I need to fill in. I need to consult, even for the government I consult, that is only normal,” said Lt Gen Shikapwasha.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home