A rare but regular glimpse into president Michael Sata’s private confidential presidential office shows some weird and, at times strange insight about the kind of man at the helm of the most powerful office in the land.
Firstly, as was earlier revealed here, Mr. Sata has indeed shifted from the usual presidential office that was used by all past presidents into the colonial office slightly up-stairs. This office was normally used by former Zambian first ladies, but not regularly.
Of course on invitation, you are totally screened at the State House entrance gate along President’s lane where all sorts of metallic objects, including phones are switched off and left for security reasons.
The you proceed to his Secretary’s Office where you would normally be in a long queue and Sata’s arrangement has no courtesy who you meet at the waiting room, because ordinarily some guests, such as those he wants to bribe, would not want to be seen by others on the same list at the same time, entering State House to see him, for obvious reasons.
Immediately you enter Mr. Sata’s office, you will always find New Generation Party president Cosmo Mumba, who literally works in that office doing the running with two other young girls, probably aged 17 years, who ideally should be in school or have just finished. These young girls together with Cosmo Mumba enter Mr. Sata’s private office anytime and what they do nobody knows, but they are suspected to be his assistants anyway.
And of course, half the time you will find former Zambian vegetarian dictator Kenneth Kaunda also seated either inside Mr. Sata’s office chatting and laughing with him together with Cosmo Mumba or the waiting area.
The entrance to Mr. Sata’s office is through two doors like those you find in most banks where you open, then close before another door opens. In between these doors you are again heavily screened by metal detectors for ‘dangerous’ objects.
Inside Mr. Sata’s office, you find Sata, ‘the man of action’ who really looks and does weird things to imagine this is the republican president. On his table, there is completely not a single piece of paper or pen, (not even the In and Out trays) as was the case with other presidents and other serious offices no matter how small anywhere in the world.
The only thing you find on his table is the Ipad, which when you peep, you see it logged to the Zambianwatchdog (this website) and you realize the man spends time reading articles including this one, and browsing all the comments since him is not even blocked like other citizens he has blocked and are now only accessing it through numerous proxies and the popular Facebook page platform.
On one corner, you again find a heap of another government hostile media, the Daily Nation. That’s not all, on his wall, there is a big screen television set that is only tuned to another hostile media, Muvi television station. And that’s not all, from time to time, Cosmo Mumba will keep interrupting by entering with a radio set tuned to any radio station hosting people and if it is opposition leaders, he will sit together with Kaunda and listen including the radio callers as they plan how to react since mostly they are hostile speakers and callers against his government. Clearly, an insight show he has no time for Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and their ally the The Post newspaper unless Fred Mmembe’s press attaché to State House shows him a particular article of interest, mainly as ordered by Mmembe himself.
And in the middle of a serious chat with Mr. Sata over national issues, other guests, both known and unknown to you, young and old, can be called inside to merely pick huge amounts of money, not less than K30,000 (K30 million old currency) at ago, looking at the size of bunch. This money comes from somewhere under his table and he has no courtesy to even put it in an envelope, or give these people when other people have left. It normally takes the secretary to put for you in an envelope or if you are a man, you can easily put in a jacket, women normally have problems because even their handbags are not allowed inside, unless on special cases cleared by him.
On another wall just above his head, you find a cabinet chart (his ministers), but them strangely, he has also put picture frames of all the people he defeated in the 2011 presidential general election in the order of the results starting with former president Rupiah Banda, then UPND president Hakainde Hichilema in that order.
And when chatting with him on his table, he would not have a note pad and pen for writing like all former presidents did so that they can remember the discussion and take action where necessary. And in a chat with him, he will keep interjecting in his usual horse and intimidating voice by telling you, “on this item, go and see this minister….next item…..”ok Mr. president the people of Zambia”…….interjects……go and see Mutembo Nchito….next item……Mr. President……..interjects…..”I am not the one responsible, that’s why you have no heir……go and see the PS……next item……..till you leave.
By knock-off time, that would have been his daily routine and he would have earned his hefty salary, allowances, free food, etc seated and chatting with Cosmo Mumba and Kenneth Kaunda, unless there are people to swear-in.
You may wonder who does his work, apparently there is an arrangement with Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda that he (Chikwanda) reports for his work at Ministry of Finance in the morning and in the afternoon goes to clear Mr. Sata’s work schedule which is somewhere within State House. Some work is done by Kaunda and Sata merely appends his signature.
All Former presidents would have two tables inside their offices one with their private and confidential ‘In’ and ‘Out’ Trays, while the other table was for the guests. They all would have a noted pad with a pen to write the entire discussion and would be very attentive and question you for clarity. And their guests would normally not meet anyhow at the waiting place, unless they are jointly invited.
Stay tuned as we bring you more updates from inside Michael’s office and later what happens at his private residence that probably keeps wife Kaseba busy somewhere always away from Nkwazi House (President’s private residence). And by the way, going by the recent pictures being flashed in the media, he has also opened up the once secluded and confidential cabinet meeting room and the Watchdog will soon attend one such meeting and give you the proceedings with pictures and voice.