Mbita Chitala has described as shocking sick president Michael Sata’s decision to appoint Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba to act as President saying the action is against the principles of good governance.
And Chitala says the Zambian presidency has grossly been mismanaged and officials are using unconventional methods to intimidate and instill fear in citizens as means of governing the country.
Chitala who served as deputy minister at State House in Dr Frederick Chiluba and Dr Levy Mwanawasa’s administrations has said it was unconventional for a President to leave the country without citizens knowing.
He wondered why people would only be informed about the arrival of the Head of State in a foreign country.
Chitala said the idea of managing the presidency using lies and deception was unconventional and that it should be stopped.
He said it was clear that government was not being sincere because of the contradicting statements from the acting Minister of Information Mwansa Kapeya and Defence Minister Edgar Lungu.
On Friday evening, President Sata left for Israel on a working holiday but the President’s trip was only announced to Zambians after the Head of State arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday this week.
Government was forced to break its silence over the whereabouts of President Sata after the country woke up to a flood of online media speculations that the Head of State had left for Israel for unspecified business while still others speculated that the President was in fact in London.
“All Zambians and those who support Zambia are deeply concerned and worried with how the presidency is being mismanaged. It is in this government that government procedures and etiquette are being done in the most unconventional way in a country that espouses good governance. We have become victims of untruths and deception being perpetrated by this government. The Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office have allowed the President to do things that are not right. What is more shocking is that Mr Wynter Kabimba who has never been elected has been chosen to act as President in the absence of Mr Sata,’ Chitala said.
He advised that it was important for government to give updates about President Sata’s schedule each time he was travelling outside the country because he was not representing himself but Zambians who had given him the privilege to govern.
Chitala said the culture of secrecy adopted by the PF government regarding the management of President Sata was creating unnecessary anxiety and panic among citizens. He said it was unfortunate that government was subjecting citizens to speculation about the whereabouts of President Sata while at the same time intimidating and threatening them with arrest for questioning what was happening to the Head of State.
Chitala said Zambians had become victims of government’s leaders who have been peddling untruths about President Sata’s whereabouts stating that Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence were the major culprits in the presidential mess. He said Zambians and all those who were supporting the country were deeply worried with the manner the PF government officials had simplified the presidency by ignoring conventional ways of managing the highest office in the land.
Chitala said each time President Sata travelled out, Zambians had all the rights to know where he was going so that they could know whether he was representing citizens because he was not a private property.
Chitala said it was only under the PF that the President had been allowed to personally go to court where he has sued private citizens effectively waiving his immunity.
“It appears we now have a new system of governance where the presidency belongs to the ruling party and not citizens,” he said.