Friday, February 25, 2011

I’ll cry if Sata wins - Rupiah

I’ll cry if Sata wins - Rupiah
By Chibaula Silwamba in Lumezi
Fri 25 Feb. 2011, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda says he will cry if he loses this year’s election to PF leader Michael Sata. And President Banda has said Sata is a bad-hearted person just like his ugly face.

Addressing a political rally when he commissioned the tarring of a 91-kilometre stretch of the Chipata-Lundazi road and a Zesco power substation on Wednesday, President Banda said Sata was shameless for continuing to ask Zambians to elect him president despite losing three times.

“There is no way the Zambian people will permit someone so vividly and openly argumentative, bitter, hateful of the society around him to allow him to be president,” President Banda said. “And the other day he Sata was saying, ‘Rupiah Banda will cry when he loses the elections in 2011’. I told him, ‘yes, I will cry if I lose the elections because I have got tears in my eyes’. I have never cried before but he has been crying for three times.”

President Banda said Sata was a bad man who misguided then president Frederick Chiluba in 2001 to run for a third term when in fact he knew that one could only serve as president for two five-year terms.

He said Sata was now attacking Chiluba daily because the former president did not choose him to be his successor, preferring the late Levy Mwanawasa.

“That is the bitterness that you are seeing in this man. Kuipa mtima ngati kumenso kwake mambala (This crook Sata is a bad-hearted person just like his ugly face),” President Banda said.

And President Banda misled the public that the maximum terms of office for parliamentarians and councillors were two five-year terms like the President, before one of his aides walked to the podium to guide him, after which he corrected the statement.

President Banda said the tarring of the Chipata-Lundazi Road was the first part of developing the Chipata-Lundazi-Nakonde route, which was part of the strategic development of Northern and Eastern provinces.

The contract to tar the 91-kilometre stretch at a cost of K97.7 billion and Lundazi District township roads was awarded to MMD-favoured contractor, Sable Constructions.

However, as President Banda was explaining to the public that Sable would undertake the works within two years, some people were heard murmuring saying they wanted Reubex Construction, a better contractor, which tarred the other half of the Chipata-Lundazi to carry out the works.

Following the public discontent, works and supply deputy minister Lameck Mangani walked to the podium, briefly discussing with President Banda, after which the head of state quickly changed, saying Sable had cut by half the duration of construction works.

“I was talking to my brother and colleague, Lameck Mangani, he was telling me that ‘when you say to people that this road will take two years to build, it looks like they were not happy and the contractor Sable says that ‘all I need is the support of the government, I can finish this road in one year’,” President Banda said.

And according to a source in the Ministry of Works and Supply, the delay in finishing road works unjustifiably enabled contractors make more money.

“It’s a simple trick and we know it. The more they delay the project the more money they make,” the source said. “Maybe the people now know about these things, that is why they are able to protest.”
Sable Contractors carries out almost all road construction projects in Eastern Province including part of the Great East Road from about Nyimba District to Mwami on the Zambia-Malawi border, township roads in Chipata town, Chipata-Mfuwe Road, and now part of Chipata-Lundazi Road, among others.
This has raised displeasure among some easterners and other contractors because the government seems to have exclusively reserved road projects in Eastern Province for Sable.

President Banda also said Zambians must not listen to people he purported were advocating for street protests to remove his government from power like what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and ongoing anti-Gaddafi demonstration in Libya and the Middle East.

“They are asking you to follow what is happening in Middle East but they forget, it is the other way round, that the people of the Middle East are actually emulating you the Zambians for what you did in 1991,” President Banda said. “Since 1991, we have had democratic, transparent and good peaceful elections in our country and we will do it again this year.”

President Banda said Zambians would be given the opportunity to elect their leaders from any political parties of their choice.

Earlier, unveiling a plaque at the newly constructed x-ray department and theatre facilities at the Catholic Church-run Lumezi Mission Hospital, built in the 1950s, President Banda thanked the Catholics for the help the church rendered to the government in the provision of health and other services to Zambians. He asked the mission hospital management to have nurses that could be on standby to help in provision of health services through the government’s mobile hospitals.

President Banda told Catholic Church’s Eastern Province former Vicar General, Fr Gabriel Msipu, and Lumezi mission hospital sister-in-charge Hermenegilda Mbaga that apart from the nine mobile hospitals from China, about two more would be coming in from the United States.

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