Saturday, March 06, 2010

C/belt, Luapula give Sata a rousing welcome

C/belt, Luapula give Sata a rousing welcome
By By Patson Chilemba
Sat 06 Mar. 2010, 04:00 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata on Thursday received rousing welcome in Copperbelt and Luapula provinces as he went to feature on Radio Icengelo and Radio Yangeni respectively.

Sata received rousing welcomes in Kitwe and Mansa when he arrived unannounced to feature on the radio programmes in the two towns.

In Kitwe, many people only became aware that Sata was in town when they heard him speak on Radio Icengelo. When the radio programme finished, several people found their way to the road sides to catch a glimpse of Sata, while at the same time showing solidarity by raising a clenched fist, the PF symbol.

At Chisokone market, on his way to South Downs Airport, a horde of marketeers and other residents were found waiting for Sata. They ululated and raised the PF symbol, while others shouted, “Pabwato, pabwato”.

From amidst the ululations and shoutings, one was heard saying: “Mwilasakama kuno, muyeko kumbi. Kuno twaliisala kale. Don't worry, all is well here. Just concentrate on the other areas. We have already chosen you here.”

In Mansa, Sata mockingly said on radio that he had arrived unannounced in the area because someone recently said that Luapula was a no-go area for him, but that he wanted people to speak for themselves.

A check in the town centre found that many people attentively listened to the radio as Sata spoke.

And when the Zesco power got interrupted briefly during the programme, some were heard saying that the power utility company had been instructed to switch off power just because Sata was on radio.

However, power was restored five minutes later and the programme continued.
After the programme, several people lined up the streets to catch a glimpse of the PF leader.

And featuring on Radio Icengelo earlier on Thursday, Sata said Vice-President Kunda's attacks on him and the PF-UPND Pact were a sign that the MMD and the government were shaken by the strength of the Pact.

“How can a person who is not a member of the Pact tell you something about the pact?” Sata asked.

“They talk about the Pact because it is worrying them, it is troubling them. George Kunda ngachita notumilomo filya, he feels the impact of the Pact. They are saying the Pact is evil. What has it done? I am mad because I shall continue speaking the truth. If I die, I will die with the truth. The Pact is very strong.”

Asked by the interviewer to comment on the recent assertions by former president Frederick Chiluba who wondered what kind of a party PF was which did not have membership cards, Sata said there were several political parties even in the United States and United Kingdom which did not have party cards.

“Chiluba's thinking is as tall as he is,” Sata said. “Chiluba's logic is as tall as he is. Leaders have identity…I know the reason why Chiluba was talking about having cards. When his so-called uncle B.Y Ben Mwila formed ZRP when he was expelled from MMD, he Chiluba used Office of the President to print ZRP cards…and people said, 'I have resigned from ZRP.' And one of the ZRP people is here in the studio, Chibwe Mulenga. But I knew all those tricks, that is why I said PF, no cards.”

Sata said he sympathised with Chiluba because he was under extreme pressure at the moment. He said that was why he was reluctant to respond to some of Chiluba's allegations because people would fail to tell who was petty.

“He has remained with very few friends, and therefore when he finds that there is somebody who is trying to help him, he will quickly turn against his own friends, people like Chibwe. You will be shocked that he has made up with B.Y Mwila, but not the people that were with B.Y Mwila,” Sata said.

Sata wondered what type of country Zambia would have been without Dr Kenneth Kaunda, saying most of the infrastructure that could be seen today was left by the former president.

“You see, people are saying that Luapula is a no-go area,” Sata said. “Kaunda built Tuta Road up to Kashikishi, and then he went up 20 miles to Chipili. Kaunda does not come from Luapula Province. Levy Mwanawasa does not come from Luapula Province, he put a bridge which people have been crying for all the time. What about Chiluba, what did he do?”

Sata said there was money in Zambia only that there was too much thieving by those in leadership because they did not care to develop the nation.

He said the government was too large and wondered where revenue from the sale of vast mineral resources the country possessed went to.

Sata said Zambians did not obtain Independence in order to suffer.

“We are not going to steal money, we are not going to plunder, we are not going to buy suits, we are not going to buy shoes. We are not going to give girls houses, no. Because if the Europeans who came here, if they wanted more shoes, do you think there would have been Riverside?”

Sata asked, adding that he was not as petty as Chiluba. “If I was like him, I would have given incidence by incidence, including who burnt the local court in Ndola, Chifubu, that very important day. Knowing that they Chiluba and government have not delivered, they would like to call Mr. Sata names.”

Sata said when PF comes to power, he would not chase away investors, but they would have to respect Zambians.

“Because around Miseshi, Mopani Copper Mines have opened the mines, two yards from people's houses without even arranging compensation or relocating these people…and when I speak they say 'Sata is mad.'” Sata said. “And again this Maxwell Mwale young man, so-called Minister of Mines came here with George Kunda, called the mining companies and told them 'don't give Zambian suppliers any more contracts because they are the people who are supporting PF.'

And then they said 'you have to register to be a contractor and there will be a tender procedure where the tender will be considered in Johannesburg and India.' Who knows us in India because the copper here is our copper.”

Sata said Zambia today was like a borrowed country where people did not know what they would eat the following day while unemployment level was at 85 percent.

And featuring on Radio Yangeni Mansa later in the afternoon, Sata asked for a minute of silence in honour of home affairs deputy minister Misheck Bonshe who died in Nigeria.

He said Bonshe was neglected by President Banda just like he Sata was removed as health minister when he was undergoing a serious goitre operation.

Sata said the people of Luapula had elected Judas Iscariots who had gone to Parliament to enrich their pockets, and they also elected another Iscariot in Chiluba.

He maintained that there was no need for President Banda to interfere in Chiluba's theft case before court.

Asked by the interviewer why his relationship with Chiluba had degenerated, Sata said Chiluba was on fire and knew that the only person with a bucket of water to put the fire out was President Banda.

Asked if he was ready to meet Mwata Kazembe over the Mwata's statement that he would meet him and Chiluba over their differences, Sata said Mwata Kazembe had always been consoling to him.

“He's been my brother, and at the same time my chief. I am ready to meet Mwata Kazembe anytime, and he does not need to restrict himself to Frederick Chiluba because Chiluba is not an issue Zambia is an issue,” Sata said.

Sata also revealed that when President Banda visited Luapula Province recently, some senior government officials bought him goats to purport that they were gifts from the people to show that he was well received in the Province.

He said goats were bought and MMD cadres were ferried to Mansa, and filled up most lodges.

Sata said Bahati PF 'rebel' member of parliament Besa Chimbaka had been telling people that he would contest Mansa-Central in 2011 because area member of parliament Chrispine Musosha was said not to be in good books with President Banda as he was viewed to be MMD presidential aspirant Ng'andu Magande's sympathiser.

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