Don’t trust Sata, US embassy official tells YALI

The Zambian Embassy of the United States has threatened to cut funding to Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) if the organization’s governance advisor Isaac Mwanza accepts the possible appointment by Republican President Sata to the Referendum Commission, describing the move government’s intention to infiltrate the NGO and silencing voices of citizens who critic the PF’s autocratic tendencies of governance, including members of parliament. But Non- Governmental Organisation Coordinating Committee (NGOCC) President Sata’s pending decision is an extension of olive branch to women and the Zambian youth.

According to a US Embassy official who sought anonymity, top US embassy officials have since begun lobbying some board members of YALI to stop its governance advisor from accepting the appointment especially that President Sata in February 2012 issued some undiplomatic remarks against the US when its Zambian employee, Sydney Watae, declined the President’s appointment as Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The source said the Embassy official held a meeting with some board members of YALI at the Embassy and asked them to warn Mr. Mwanza not to trust President Sata’s appointments as he is capable of using him and later dump him like garbage as showy display of his powers to control citizen’s lives.

“The US Government may reconsider funding to the organization in instances where the Board fails to talk Mr. Mwanza out of accepting such an appointment and the decision of YALI has the capacity to divide the organization into two camps especially that some board members think Mr. Ntewewe has been compromised by former President Rupiah Banda who they accuse has been buying him and his family expensive goods and suits,” says the source

Meanwhile, Non- Governmental Organisation Coordinating Committee (NGOCC) board chairperson, Beatrice Grillo, is quoted to have told the NGOCC that “President Sata’s possible decision to include members from NGOCC and YALI who seemed to have been critical of his rule must be viewed as an extension of olive branch to women and the Zambian youth, is quoted to have told the NGOCC that “President Sata’s possible decision to include members from NGOCC and YALI who seemed to have been critical of his rule must be viewed as an extension of olive branch to women and the Zambian youth to shape the destiny of their country.”

“It will be unprecedented that Mr. Kabimba can even consider names who he has declared as his sworn enemies and that President Sata could even contemplate appointing the youth to lead such an important process in the country’s history?” said Grillo.

Grillo said she will only make a decision once the President formally approaches her and said it would be her personal decision to serve or not to serve on the referendum Commission

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