Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rupiah, HH extend their anti-sata campaign to SA

Rupiah, HH extend their anti-sata campaign to SA
By Kombe Chimpinde
Wed 13 Feb. 2013, 15:10 CAT

CHIEF government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni has challenged former president Rupiah Banda to come out clean on yesterday's press conference in Johannesburg, which opposition leaders Nevers Mumba, Hakainde Hichilema and Sakwiba Sikota held in Rosebank.

And FDD president Edith Nawakwi has advised the opposition leaders to cool down and stick together since Zambia is still mourning the loss of 51 people in the Chisamba accident last Thursday's.

During the press conference staged to attract international sympathy for Banda, who is facing corruption-related charges, opposition leaders accused the government of, among other things, harassing and intimidating as well as attacking members of the opposition.
The opposition leaders accused President Michael Sata of trying to enforce a one-party state on Zambians.

The opposition leaders further claimed that President Sata was stoking ethnic tensions in the country and called for the suspension of Zambia from the Commonwealth on account of the alleged violations of human rights.
But Sakeni said the government was aware of Banda's direct links to immature and embarrassingly fruitless schemes to discredit President Sata's government and his governance style.

"For example, is it a coincidence that Mr Banda has been to South Africa twice in a week; he left on 6th February accompanied by Mr Dickson Jere and returned on 7th February; only to leave again for the same destination the following day," he stated. "And on 9th February, 2013, Mumba, accompanied by Nakacinda, similarly left for South Africa; only to be followed by Mr Hichilema, who was accompanied by Mr Jack Mwiimbu on 10th February. The result of these hasty and deceitful trips is today's (yesterday's) sponsored press conference in South Africa."

Sakeni advised Banda and his newly constituted defence team comprising the named opposition leaders that the matters he was facing would be justly determined within the Zambian jurisdiction, and not abroad.

"Therefore, let them make no mistake because the PF government is resolved to seek justice with regard to Mr Banda and his children's alleged involvement in the plunder of this country's resources," he said. "We shall follow the laid down legal procedures and processes to seek justice for all Zambian peopleā€¦ The truth of the matter is that Mr Banda is facing a credible investigation and this government has accorded Mr Banda respect so far as his legal rights and freedoms are concerned.

We therefore wonder what Mr Banda is scared of to hastily convene a press conference by proxy in South Africa," he stated.
Sakeni maintained that there were no human rights abuses against the leaders and members of the opposition as claimed by them.
The opposition leaders, during their briefing, also claimed that Zambia's democracy was under threat and accused President Sata of turning the country into a one-party state.

And Nawakwi said the opposition leaders should remember that there was time for mourning, sowing and reaping.
"Those who are aggrieved should realise that there are procedures in upholding the rule of law. And to my brothers, they should know better how to internalise their pain by following proper channels of addressing their grievances both at home and abroad," she said.

Nawakwi also wondered why the opposition leaders held their briefing in Johannesburg's Rosebank area, where they called for Zambia's suspension from the Commonwealth, when the institution's headquarters are elsewhere.

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