Thursday, September 12, 2013

UPND wants Sata's health examined
By Kombe Chimpinde
Sat 24 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT

UPND Mbabala member of parliament Ephraim Belemu has demanded that a board of medical officers be constituted to examine President Michael Sata's health to allay fears raised by Geofrey Mwamba that some senior party members believe that he is not fit. And UPND says it will no longer notify police before holding protests and meetings.

Speaking at a briefing held at the UPND party secretariat yesterday, Belemu, who is UPND chairperson for tourism, said there was need for more elaboration on sensitive claims by Mwamba, whom they believed was a senior member of the ruling party.

"PF, from their own argument as confirmed by GBM (Mwamba), has confirmed that there is a clique within PF that believe that the President will not live beyond 2016 and, therefore, they want to find a successor," Belemu said.

"Now to the extent that he (Sata) is Republican President also, as a member of parliament and as a citizen, I have an interest in that and I want to demand as follows; Cabinet must immediately cause a board of medical practitioners to be appointed in accordance with Article 36 of the Constitution of Zambia so that the capacity or lack of capacity of President Sata can be ascertained by medical experts as opposed to Mwamba telling us that the President is fit," he said.

"I know there is a tendency to say we cannot touch the health of an individual but to the extent that someone is the Republican President of the sovereign Republic of Zambia, is a public figure and we have an interest, particularly when Cabinet ministers in the ruling party are fighting over who should succeed him."

Belemu said those discussing President Sata's health, together with Mwamba, were not qualified to state whether the head of state was in good health as they were not medical officers.
During a briefing at the ZNBC premises on Wednesday, Mwamba said no one should think President Sata would die today or tomorrow.

"We know that there is a scheme that certain people have teamed up... they have already said that President Sata... in fact, some of them are saying that he would die before 2016. So, it is about time that they started positioning themselves, which is very unfortunate. You see, every human's life destiny is from God," he said. "No one should think President Sata will die today or tomorrow. Probably even those that think that President Sata will die today, they are the ones who will die..."

Meanwhile, UPND deputy secretary general Kuchunga Simusamba said his party had with immediate effect stopped notifying police when holding public rallies.

He said the UPND would now be policing the rallies with their own field marshals.

"We have reasonable suspicion that the PF does not want UPND to hold meetings and protests because many senior PF members are anticipating a presidential by-election, and this is according to Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba. So because of this anticipated by-election, the PF does not want UPND to have a head-start," Simusamba said.

"As UPND, we have now resolved that UPND will no longer notify the police of their intentions to carry out protests or hold public meetings. We shall hold these protests and public meetings randomly and spontaneously in different locations of our cities without informing the police," said Simusamba.

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