I’m not ashamed to deal with Taiwan, says Sata
By Bivan Saluseki
The Post, Thursday November 01, 2007 [03:00]
I am not ashamed to deal with Taiwan, Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata has said. Addressing a press conference yesterday, Sata said it was only an idiot who would auction Zambia for US $50,000.
“It would be an idiot who would auction Zambia for US $50,000 because I can go to Mr Wynter Kabimba and he can give me because lawyers get money in dollars. To sell Zambia for US $50,000! The person who has been selling Zambia is Ronnie Shikapwasha who has been issuing work permits to unqualified Chinese and today it has been qualified by Mr George Katili Mpombo. They are trying to divert attention,” he said.
Sata, who on Tuesday night returned from the United States where he had gone to discredit China in favour of Taiwan, claimed that the current government was very corrupt although he could not justify this claim.
“They are so corrupt, when they see Sata asking for US $50,000…I could have even asked for a million but US $50,000… and all you need to do is go to South African Airways and find out the cost of an ticket,” he said.
Sata said he took very strong exception to reports in The Post that he wanted to sell Zambia.
“In 2000, I met people from Taiwan. The government of Frederick Chiluba was very close to recognising the government of Taiwan but it was new in government. They succumbed to intimidation by Chinese that if you recognise Taiwan, we are going to pull out so they left it from there but that was a collective responsibility.
Cabinet agreed, the whole government agreed,” Sata said. “In 2001, when I broke away, I broke away with my thinking of this country. The few friends who we went away with…I must admit it was not easy to convince this man (pointing to Guy Scott) about Taiwan.”
Sata said he was a moving billboard for The Post because if he was not appearing in The Post, The Post did not sell.
“So The Post has become our regional organisation secretaries. Even if I am not here, they keep the fire burning. I am very grateful to The Post and I am very grateful to The Post again where they have printed here our Chinese defence minister George Mpombo and they are showing that 43 years, whilst he is defending the Chinese, the people in Mandevu are parading for water,” he said.
Sata said despite being invited by Harvard University in July 2007, PF realised that the government was uncomfortable.
“We did realise as a party that this government is very uncomfortable for anybody who goes to disturb their master because Zambia is a province of China. We kept it to ourselves. We did not want anybody to know until at the last minute,” he said.
Sata said Scott and PF spokesperson Given Lubinda had been to Taiwan for a week to attend an economic forum.
“That again we didn’t advertise because we know what’s going on. Now I am not shamed. In here, I have a young man called Wynter Kabimba. This young man remembers. I was not even a councillor. I was just a mere branch chairman when I discovered South Korea.
Kenneth Kaunda was a gentleman and a humanist. When I came here fighting for the rights of South Korea, Kaunda did not call me names,” Sata said. “Kaunda did not even accuse me of getting money from South Korea. Kaunda even accepted Zambia, KK 11 to go to South Korea to go and play a friendly match. And today, if you go on the streets, there are only two vehicles, that is Japan and South Korea and Mr Sata is not a shareholder in any of the South Korean companies.”
Sata said Korean and Japanese companies had provided employment to Zambians and offered quality goods.
“Everything including the electronics which The Post newspaper is using is from South Korea. I take strong exception for all the allegations. For example, I take strong exception from a Catholic priest Fr Frank Bwalya when he is doubting my integrity.
Fr Bwalya knows very well there is no Catholicism in China so I don’t know, probably he wants to go back to MISA,” he said.
Sata said Fr Bwalya should know that in Taiwan, there were only four Catholic universities.
“What surprises me is the MMD government and The Post newspaper. Every time there is an election, they form an unholy alliance. Last year, The Post serialised everyday the editorials.
They did all negative editorials but thank God, the people they were trying to aim at did not accept them. They did not vote for them and now what is going on, all the serialisation by The Post, all the sensationalisation by The Post is to support MMD, to divert the attention from Nchanga, from Chimumbwa’s problem who wants to sell copper which he doesn’t dig and which he hasn’t got so they would like to transfer these things to Michael Sata,” he said.
Sata thanked Zambia’s High Commissioner in London for helping him when he allegedly ‘lost’ his passport.
“We need more people like that man in London because when I went to them, I reported that my passport had mysteriously been misplaced.
He brought his two officers together and I found two permanent secretaries in his office, Lewanika and Imbwae and he said we will hold on to this meeting until we finish with Mr Sata so that he can get back to Zambia. I am also very grateful to our London supporters who were also supporters of Levy Mwanawasa who paid 3000 Pounds to buy me a ticket. I was going to Taiwan by economy but they bought me a business class ticket to bring me back to Zambia to come and get my passport,” Sata said.
“I am grateful to the British government, I’m grateful to the American government who within five hours they gave me the necessary visa for me to get back to America. If my own government cannot protect me, then you start wondering, do we have a government? Our own government in Namibia is supposed to protect Zambians in Namibia then you have the so-called Chinese ambassador occupying Zambian offices condemning our own lecturers when our Namibian government has not complained, then you know how much they have eaten.”
Sata said the government should not be very jittery because it was the Chinese he was complaining about. He said it was surprising that acting information minister George Mpombo kept on defending Chinese interests in Zambia including Malawi instead of their representatives.
“At Harvard, I was talking about Chinese investment in Zambia. I have had so many invitations to go to China but I have refused,” he said.
“Zambia has become a labour camp. Most of the Chinese are prisoners of conscience. I want any investment but not Chinese human beings. Why should China have a development zone in Zambia? Where is the American development zone? Where is the British development zone?”
Sata said Zambia was not at war with Taiwan for him to be refused from dealing with it.
“If I went to Taiwan and it’s at war, they would say, ‘why are you collaborating with an enemy’?” he said.
Sata said he had nothing against Chinese individuals. He said what Zambia needed was technology from China.
Sata said some people were even condemning the High Commissioner to UK who saw his national (Sata) in distress in London. He said if he was embarrassed in London, it was Zambia which could have been embarrassed.
Sata said Zambians should speak out.
“So wake up! Me, I’m just providing leadership. I don’t hate Chinese, I hate the way they are invading Zambia,” he said.
Sata said God had stopped creating countries and Zambia was for Zambians.
“God gave Chinese their own country. God so it fit to give us copper and everything which is here, so they should be proud of what God gave the Chinese,” he said.
Sata said he would continue with the fight for the protection of Zambia and the party had radical people like Chishimba Kambwili and others who were ready to take on the mantle. He said there was no corruption in his dealings.
“Because The Post, they have spent so much money trying to find where I hid stolen money but they can’t find. The Post have gone all over the world, they have not found anything,” he said.
Sata said Post managing editor Amos Malupenga was working against him by writing bad editorials.
“The biggest problem we have is our reporters, including The Post. I called comrade Malupenga from Boston to say they practice their vocabulary on me when they write editorials. They say I have a gun, I have been given guns by Taiwan to shoot who, I don’t know. They say PF u-turns. I read from Boston from Daily Mail. We have not refused to go and attend the National Constitutional Conference,” he said.
Asked why he has asked the Taiwanese government to transfer the US $50,000 through his personal account and not the PF account, Sata said there was nothing wrong with that. He said it was normal for him to ask for PF money and ask for the same to be channelled through his personal account. Sata said money could be gotten from different countries using different accounts.
And asked to comment on Metropolitan police statement that he had not reported to them about his missing passport contrary to what he said last week, Sata accused the Metropolitan police of being behind the loss of his passport.
“Is it The Post newspaper to which I am supposed to subscribe when my passport is lost? Is it The Post I am supposed to satisfy? I am supposed to satisfy the passport office in London,” he said.
Sata said The Post and Metropolitan police in London wanted a cover-up over his missing passport.
“So it’s a dead issue for The Post to try and tarnish Michael Sata. It’s very costly for a person to come, get to London, get back, get a passport,” he said.
Sata said he did not want to suspect The Post as being part of his missing passport.
He said the Metropolitan police did not ask him similar questions like The Post.
“Whether The Post or Mr Malupenga wanted, if I went to Metropolitan police, the person was going to say ‘we will wait for the report of the police, then we can give you another passport’. So please tell Mr. Malupenga, we know he has some sympathies with the Mwanawasa government but I am far much intelligent and faster than Mwanawasa’s government,” said Sata.
Published by the Post newspaper on Thursday November 01, 2007