Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sata a unique leader - Akuffo
By Joseph Mwenda in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fri 31 Jan. 2014, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata is a unique and charming leader, says African Court on Human Rights president justice Sophie Akuffo. Meanwhile, President Sata tomorrow goes on a 14-day working vacation.

Speaking after she briefly interacted with President Sata and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, justice Akuffo said she was honoured to meet the two men, whom she described as great leaders of Africa.

At the opening session of the 22nd African Union summit in Addis Ababa, President Sata, who sat next to President Mugabe, summoned justice Akuffo and shared a light moment with her.

"You madam, you must take interest to understand the cause of people's problems when you call them to your court," President Sata said.

The President jokingly told justice Akuffo to also summon agriculture minister Robert Sichinga, who was seated behind, and help him manage his hair.

"You must take this one to your court so that he can explain his problem," said President Sata, attracting laughter from other delegates, including President Mugabe and foreign affairs minister Wylbur Simuusa.

Justice Akuffo later appreciated the interaction with President Sata, describing him as a charming leader.

"He called me to just share greetings and, of course, you know he is a charming President. They are both great leaders, and I was honoured to meet them," justice Akuffo said in an interview later.

Meanwhile, President Sata also briefly interacted with President Jacob Zuma after the South African leader paid tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Earlier, President Sata attended the SADC summit with other leaders to sanction the readmission of Madagascar to the African Union. And State House press aide George Chellah yesterday announced that President Sata is expected to go on vacation after the close of the 22nd ordinaryAfrica Union summit.

"His Excellency, President Michael Sata, who is accompanied by the first lady Christine Kaseba, will leave Addis Ababa on February 1, after the close of the AU summit for a 14 days working holiday vacation," Chellah stated.

He could not disclose were the President would go for his vacation, but sources said heis expected to be in London until February 15 when he would return home. Meanwhile, Dr Kaseba on Wednesday attended the steering committee meeting ofthe 13th extra ordinary general assembly of the Organisation ofAfrican First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).

The meeting was closed for media coverage but tDr Kaseba had interactions with first ladies from other countries including the chairperson of the committee Amani Musa Hilal, the first lady of Chad.

Others who attended the steering committee include first lady of Mozambique Maria Guebuza, Ghana's Lordina Dramani Mahama and Ruwanda's Jeannette Kagame. The actual conference is expected to take place today.


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