Thursday, February 21, 2013

Miyanda requests Sata to address the nation

Miyanda requests Sata to address the nation
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 21 Feb. 2013, 15:10 CAT

HERITAGE Party leader Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has requested President Michael Sata to address the nation through an interactive live broadcast to diffuse tension in the country.

In a statement yesterday, Brig Gen Miyanda stated that the daily quarrels, threats against citizens and defensive tactics by those in authority point to an undeclared war of words in Zambia.

"I believe that the President can help to diffuse the situation by addressing issues that are contributing to the unbridled antagonism, hatred and tension in our nation. To end this undeclared war, I once again call upon the President of Zambia, as I did in October 2012, to face the people of Zambia via a live radio and television interaction to address current issues that are creating concern in the nation," Brig Gen Miyanda stated.

"President Sata's silence since he won the election in September 2011 till today in February 2013 is strange and uncharacteristic for one whose hallmark has been talking and talking and talking for 10 years! It is as though somebody or something is now holding him to ransom. To prove that he is not a captive president, let him appear on a live television and radio interview for at least two hours to face the people of Zambia."

Brig Gen Miyanda stated that there were many contentious issues and serious rumours in the political arena that would simply not go away but might be put to rest by an honest interaction with the people.

"Some issues have a bearing on our national security (for instance, does the Commander-In-Chief believe that street kids in Matero are better than his Defence and Security personnel?) A good number are governance issues; several are real policy and economic issues while others may just be irritating but divisive campaign rhetoric," observed Brig Gen Miyanda.

"A question and answer session may bury the rumours and parry any lies and misconceptions all round. I believe that once the President addresses and answers all the critical questions truthfully and transparently, detractors, if any, may be silenced."

Brig Gen Miyanda stated that it was imperative for President Sata to address the nation after nearly a record two years of no such address.
He stated that winning an election was not the "be-all and end-all of our political journey; neither is it a blank cheque to do as a winning political party wishes".

"In fact, it is highly misleading for any political party in government to claim that they received a mandate through the ballot to do as they please. Voters do not vote on each and every clause in a manifesto but, as in the last presidential election, they were merely choosing one servant out of several applicants. Hence the chief servant must avail himself, once in a while, to the employers. The President has accepted another invitation to address an international audience in Asia - fine. So why must he refuse or neglect to face his own people here in Zambia for close to two years?" he asked.

Brig Gen Miyanda advised President Sata to address the nation on the rule of law; decentralisation; the public order Act; rights and freedoms of citizens as he perceived them; traditional rulers and their role in national affairs; justification of the increased arrests of political opponents, among others.

"...is it true that there was a parallel PF security structure which has now been infused in the government main system without following usual stringent government procedures? If so, where did these people come from? Are they all Zambians? Is it true that our airspace is porous as announced by the Minister of Tourism? What was the rationale for recalling literally the whole civil service from diplomatic service and what has become of these Zambians and their families?" he asked.

Brig Gen Miyanda stated that one of the job descriptions of the Republican President in the Constitution was to provide leadership.

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