Ailing Sata refuses BBC interview despite promising them

After failing to appear for any radio or television interviews or addressing a press conference, ailing president Michael Sata failed to give the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) an opportunity to interview him.

Sources at State House have told the Watchdog that BBC reporter Veronica Eduards came into the country almost two weeks ago after she was assured by Sata’s Spokesperson George Chellar that she will interview the Zambian president.

But since she came, Chellar has been dodging the BBC reporter but kept giving her different times when he would interview the president.

The BBC reporter also sought for the intervention of former president Kenneth Kaunda to interview but Kaunda also could not manage.

Further efforts to get an interview with the president using finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda also failed.

The BBC reporter left the country this morning after all efforts to offer the Zambian president an opportunity to clear some of the negative issues of governance about the country failed.

Sources said the BBC wanted to balance some of the stories they have been running quoting Zambian opposition leaders regarding Zambia’s poor governance and human rights record under PF but the president could not avail himself.

“What is even embarrassing is that George Chellar had earlier promised the BBC that they would interview the president. So these people now just wasted money and time sending a reporter all the way from United Kingdom based on prior arrangement only to be snubbed by the Chellar and the president himself,” sources said.

Sources said it looks like they were scared that issues surrounding the president’s health would also be raised in the interview and so they changed their mind without informing Veronica Eduards of BBC.

There has so far been several requests and demands from several stakeholders to have Mr. Sata address a press conference or feature for a radio and TV interview and offer policy guidelines but has failed.

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