Sata loses passport, U-turns from London
By Joseph Mwenda, Bivan Saluseki and Patson Chilemba
Wednesday October 24, 2007 [04:00]
PATRIOTIC Front president Michael Sata yesterday returned to Zambia from London around 06:00 hours aboard British Airways but left the country around 14:00 hours for the United States via Johannesburg. And defence minister George Mpombo said Sata is a shameless political mercenary who is capable of mortgaging Zambia’s territorial sovereignty.
Sata, who was enroute to the United States where he has been invited by Harvard University’s committee on human rights to participate in a human rights conference, had his trip aborted on Monday when he lost his passport in London.
Sources at Zambia’s High Commission in London disclosed that Sata had gone to the High Commission’s offices asking for a replacement of his support which he reported missing.
“But we told Mr Sata that we do not issue passports at the High Commission, we could only issue him with a travel document to enable him return home and organise to replace his passport,” the source said.
Sata was issued with a travel document which he used to return home yesterday.
After arriving at 06:00 hours, Sata first visited, around 08:00 hours, the Passports office on Lusaka’s Cairo Road to have his lost passport replaced. He only left after 09:45 hours for the US embassy. He later shuttled between South African Airways and the US embassy where he was organising an air ticket and a visa, respectively.
When approached for comment, the hotly hostile Sata refused to give details. Asked why he had prematurely returned home, Sata said: “Nothing. I came back to check on Mr. Amos Malupenga to get more information about the Chinese.”
Asked to explain what happened to his passport, Sata said nothing happened and he was continuing with his journey there and then.
Sata was then rushed to the airport by his vice-president Dr Guy Scott to board a South African Airways. At the airport, Sata was met by another Post reporter whom he gave an interview.
He said his passport was stolen by a Chinese porter at Crown Plaza Hotel where he was keeping up in London. Sata said he had reported the matter to the police and was going back to accomplish his mission of discrediting China.
“MMD survives on the Chinese; the Chinese are very unpopular around the world and people have to fight them wherever they are,” Sata said.
“So if The Post wants to defend the Chinese… and that letter which The Post is dramatising was not only sent to the Taiwanese, the Taiwanese were only one of the international donors, but it was sent to more local donors who contributed to this trip. How possible would it be if there weren’t all these donors for me to fly here and fly back to London?
“You people do not understand; the Chinese have invaded the world and if the Chinese are invading, and you people are proud of them coming to take up your jobs, that’s your problem. Me I am concerned about the poor people. I am concerned with the Chinese pushing wheelbarrows in Zambia.”
Asked why he was on a mission to discredit China in favour of Taiwan, Sata said: “They have already discredited themselves, nobody else has discredited them. They are not investors, they are invaders. They have invaded here, they are not bringing development but they are creating employment for themselves.
“I completed my mission, now I am going back to America specifically for the Chinese. I have done my job and a Chinese porter store my passport at the hotel yesterday (Monday) in London at Crown Plaza. I reported the matter to the police and they will deal with him.
The PF is in control. I had a very good meeting in London; Australians, New Zealand, they are all complaining about the Chinese. I had with my colleagues who are complaining about the influx of the Chinese and I think it is from that meeting which I had in London from which the Chinese got awareness and stole my passport.
“It will not be the same situation, you go to Malawi and see what the Taiwanese are doing, the Taiwanese are not bringing any money, they are bringing employment. If you go to Taiwan, Taiwanese are building roads, and houses and they are not bringing Taiwanese. They are transferring technology. Now you are importing rice from Malawi where the Taiwanese are helping people to grow rice.
And wherever the Taiwanese are, even in China, they are spending six billion dollars a month.”
Sata said he was supposed to connect to the US in Monday but what he suffered after the passport was stolen was a temporary setback.
“I have come back, have my travel documents replaced, which is very nice and now am proceeding,” he said.
“I am meeting the Human Rights Commission at Harvard University and the Amnesty International in USA. So all of them, I am telling them about the invasion of the Chinese in Africa and Zambia in particular. That’s human rights.
What The Post and other people do not understand is that the Chinese are exporting copper ore and refining it in China thereby creating employment for the Chinese and leaving environmental degradation in Zambia.
“The Chinese in Sinazeze are working without boots, isn’t that human rights? If you approach them, they don’t want because that’s a political issue. But if they are not chased now, they can bring an explosion.”
Asked if his request for US $50,000 from the Taiwanese government for him to discredit China for personal benefits did not amount to corruption, Sata said: “That is not corruption. We ask for money from anywhere, including locals. What about the money that FDD got from the Scottish Party, why are you not writing about it? I don’t know how you understand corruption at The Post. What I am saying is, we have friends all over the world including Perking itself, and we have to cultivate. And the people we are dealing with they know our stand.
They can bring their technology, not humans.”
Asked how he intends to pay back Taiwan for all the financial assistance he has been receiving from them, Sata answered: “Why are you not asking USA, South Africa, and Zambian investors? The Zambians, some of them give to Mwanawasa billions but give us millions, the same people. They are businessmen. They deal with progressive organizations. When we get the money from Taiwan, we will let you know. The letter was sent to so many people including MMD supporters and they have given us a lot of support. Big MMD companies give us support.”
Sata boasted that he was enjoying a lot of support and that was why he managed to have a new passport and visas in six hours. “I have managed to come back and organize all the documents in six hours, that’s the kind of support we have,” Sata said.
“Tell Mr. Amos Malupenga that there is nothing to sing, why doesn’t he sing about the money that the Chinese are giving to the MMD and the money that Vendetta is giving to MMD? Why doesn’t he write editorials about all these moneys given to MMD? Has he been converted to MMD? Why does he just write about the US $50,000 from Taiwan? Why doesn’t he write about the US $41 million where a local bank issued a cheque which bounced and how much the government has gotten from the US $41 million? If there was corruption involved, there would not have been a letter. That information did not leak. There was no scoop from that letter, we provided it to them.”
And commenting on Sata’s soliciting of US $50, 000 from the Taiwanese government to enable him to travel to the United States on his continued mission to discredit China in favour of Taiwan, Mpombo said Sata’s move could be likened to political abomination.
“This has exposed Sata as a shameless political mercenary who is capable of mortgaging this country’s territorial sovereignty in order to achieve his narrow economic personal gains. This is a man who is able to jeopardise the Chinese investment in Zambia simply because he wants to dance to the tune of Taiwan,” Mpombo said. “It’s political abomination of catastrophic proportions.”
Mpombo, who is also acting chief government spokesperson, said Sata’s lies and cheap political demagogue and concocting statements were engraved in his very nature. He said lies were the qualities of Sata’s life.
“He is got Stalin’s dictatorial manners. He is trying to get money for his personal agenda. The attacks on China were not based on morals. This is a very serious matter of corruption at international level. As government, our appeal is that Zambians should not be hoodwinked in voting for dubious characters,” Mpombo said. “If they can do that when they are in the opposition, they would become high priests of corruption if they were elected into government. It is a lesson to Zambia that Sata’s empty rhetoric is based on greediness for political power and political gain.”
Mpombo charged that Sata’s actions were unchristian an embarrassment to the nation. “As Christians, it’s not good to demonise other people when you know that what you are saying is not true. We are asking Harvard University that characters who solicit for money should not be given an opportunity. We will open our eyes wide. We are monitoring the situation very closely and if people are trying to undermine government efforts, we will pounce on them,” Mpombo said.
“As government, we are monitoring what role Taiwan is playing in the promotion of international corruption.”
According to Sata’s letter titled, “Fight Against The People’s Republic of China Against Your Country” to Taiwan’s Ambassador to Malawi dated September 10, 2007, the US $50,000 was to cover costs of his travel and upkeep to the United States.
This followed Sata’s invitation by Harvard University for him to speak on human rights at a conference themed, “China-Africa: The Yin and the Yang” to be held on Wednesday at Harvard University in the US.
“When I met you in 2005, I undertook to do everything within my capacity to discredit The People’s Republic of China so that they can concentrate on defending themselves against my attacks and leave your country at peace,” Sata’s letter read in part. He stated that he would use this opportunity to further discredit China.