Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata yesterday challenged Vice-President George Kunda to go with him for medical tests at an independent hospital or clinic and thereafter disclose their respective results or ailments to the public.
Reacting to Vice-President Kunda’s claim that he knew a lot about his health although he avoided talking about it, Sata said it was well known fact that he suffered a heart attack and challenged the Vice-President to also disclose his ailment for which he went for a three-week medical review at Morningside Clinic in South Africa.
“I have nothing to hide about my health. It is George who has everything to hide about his health. If he has nothing to hide, I challenge him that let us go to Milpark or Morningside Clinic in South Africa so that we can get tested and tell the Zambian people who is suffering from what,” Sata said. “On 24th April, 2008 I suffered a heart attack that saw me go to Milpak Hospital. Since that time, I have had four times gone for HIV tests and have been found negative.
I have published the results and my lips are still dark. I challenge my colleagues also to tell us what they are suffering from and let them also produce certificates for whatever they have been found negative. Can George Kunda also tell us what he is suffering from? My lips came back intact but his lips are red. Why are they red?”
Sata dismissed Vice-President Kunda’s insinuation that he Sata phoned Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Leslie Mbula to confirm his death. He explained that he phoned High Commissioner Mbula to deliver a message of quick recovery to Vice-President Kunda.
“I am not as cruel as he is. I was more concerned that my brother has been hospitalised and that is why I asked the High Commissioner to go and wish him quick recovery. And that is why he has recovered quickly. It’s good he has come back but let him cage his tongue because he is not fit to fight strong people like me. He is just too weak,” Sata said.
“If I wanted to find out that he was dead, was I going to ring through the High Commissioner? I have got so many friends and relatives in the business community and they know all those hospitals in South Africa. I would have gotten that information without asking the High Commissioner.”
Sata said there was nothing strange about his phone call to High Commissioner Mbula.
“Even when late president Levy Mwanawasa was in hospital in France, I used to phone the High Commissioner and the family almost every day. So there is nothing abnormal. I don’t believe in gossip like him,” Sata said. “If I wanted to spread his rumours, I would not have called the High Commissioner. I would have gotten the information. I have a very good working relationship with Morningside Clinic and all the hospitals in South Africa.”
Sata said even when the late UPND leader Anderson Mazoka was sick and admitted to a hospital in South Africa, he had traveled to go and see him there.
He advised Vice-President Kunda to be careful with whatever he said because it would boomerang on him.
“He should not be hiding in being a Christian because Christians don’t rig elections. Christians believe in love for one another and they don’t take militias like he did in Mufumbwe. That is why he was boasting that he addressed 10 meetings. He became sick because, himself and Dan Kalale were beaten in Mufumbwe,” Sata said.
On Saturday, upon return from South Africa, Vice-President Kunda said his trip for medical review had been politicised with some opposition political leaders hoping that his purported demise would turn out to be true.
He said Sata phoned High Commissioner Mbula asking for confirmation of his demise. He said on the first occasion, he was told the rumour was malicious and unfounded.
Vice-President Kunda said Sata phoned again and accused High Commissioner Mbula and the government of lying about his purported demise.
“When he was told I was still alive, his reaction was, ‘thank God he is still alive’, of course with a forked tongue,” said Vice-President Kunda. “Mr Sata, let me tell you. There is a lot we know about your health. However, we have remained committed to our Christian values. Your health should remain between you and your doctors. Ironically, you are behaving as if you have not been the subject of similar rumours before. You should know better and instead discourage such hatred, rumour mongering.”
Vice-President Kunda said evil people, sadists and Satanists wished him dead and circulated rumours about his purported demise but he came out as a martyr.
And Sata expressed displeasure at the commotion in the National Registration Card acquisition process going on in Lusaka.
“If George Kunda did not bring corruption to NRCs National Registration Cards acquiring process there would be no problems. I am just coming from Kaunda Square right now; it is only MMD members who are trying to interfere with police and the registration officer,” Sata said. “If other political parties decided to go where MMD people are receiving NRCs, there would be problems. They are not wearing MMD attire but they are shouting: ‘pa nkoloko pa nkoloko’.”