President Michael Sata has apologised to Angola over what he called ‘the decision by the former ruling party MMD to side with the late former rebel leader Jonas Savimbi during the civil war in that country.’
During the regime of late Fredrick Chiluba, Angola almost attacked Zambia accusing it of supplying arms to the then rebel movement UNITA.
War was only avoided after the intervention of then South African president Nelson Mandela, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, King Mswati and Namibia’ Sam Nujoma.
Zambia, under Chiluba dismissed the allegations. The allegations were never proved though the relations with the two countries became severely restrained. Michael Sata was then minister without portfolio, number three in government.
The relationships between the two countries has however been repaired and Angola never made any more accusations. Zambia continued sheltedring refugees in Zambia as testimony of good relations.
But President Sata today said he found it necessary to send fFirst Republican President Kenneth Kaunda to apologise on behalf of Zambia to the Angolan government for the MMD government’s treacherous behaviour.
The apology by Sata is likely to be analysed as admission that Zambia was interfering in Angola by supplying arms.
Sata described the MMD’s conduct against Angola during the civil war as greedy and fraudulent.
The President was speaking at State House Wednesday morning when he received letters of credence from Ambassador Designate of the Republic of Angola to Zambia Balbina Malheiro Silva.
President Sata says it is a shame that Zambia is not benefiting from the eight million United States dollar refinery that Angola has built.
He also says the Patriotic Front-PF government looks forward to opening up more trade links with Angola.
Earlier, Ambassador Silva reaffirmed Angola’s commitment to strengthening economic cooperation with Zambia.