Thrift Sata abandons motorcade for a mini ride in Livingstone
PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday refused to use any government vehicle and demanded for a blue commuter’s minibus.
President Sata, who arrived in Livingstone after 13:30 hours aboard a Zambia Air Force ZAF plane, accompanied by one of his children and grandchildren protested and said he was not going anywhere unless he used a blue minibus because his government promised to put more money in people’s pockets.
Sata refused to use the safer government transport assigned to him opting for a minibus.
“Where is the blue minibus? I told you to get me a minibus. We promised to put more money in people’s pockets,” Sata said to his special assistant for press and public relations George Chellah.
President Sata later agreed to join his family in a Toyota bus registration number AJB 7970 driven by a plain clothed policeman.
On realising the President’s demands, Southern Province deputy permanent secretary Alfred Chiingi ordered the removal of a police traffic vehicle and
the convoy was only led by Southern Province police commissioner Brenda Mutemba’s official.
At Musonda’s Yard which is a dry port for trucks in transit along the Musi-oa-Tunya Road President Sata’s motorcade which had only taken up one lane was blocked momentarily by a truck which was reversing in the main road.
At the Royal Livingstone Hotel, President Sata took time to greet the hotel staff and directed that the children be taken to the Victoria Falls as he joked that he needed to call President Robert Mugabe to tell his entourage where he was.
Asked about the President’s visit to Livingstone, Chellah said it was a private meeting and that the media would only be allowed to take pictures and be excused.
“The meeting is at 15:30 so you can get in to take pictures and you will be excused,” Chellah said.
Later, a Zimbabwean delegation arrived being led by a Benz vehicle registration number ZIM 1 which is the official number plate of Mugabe’s limousine Benz.