The Grand Coalition on the Constitution has demanded that government must provide footage of President Michael Sata’s working holiday in Israel to halt speculations and rumours that the Head of State is in fact in Tel Aviv for medical treatment.
Grand Coalition on the Constitution chairperson Leonard Chiti has said the secrecy that has surrounded President Sata’s departure for Israel and his mission was creating a lot of tension and anxieties among Zambians and that it was important for government to tell the nation the true health status of the Head of State.
Fr Chiti said government was not being truthful to Zambians over President Sata’s alleged working holiday in Israel because of the conflicting and contradictory statements that had so far been issued.
“If government fails to show us pictures of President Sata while on a working holiday in Israel, then we shall conclude that he is gravely hill. The President left the country without Zambians being informed about his visit to the Middle East country and we were only told about his arrival in Israel after a flood of rumours and speculations hit the nation that the Head of State had been evacuated. Since government is comfortable and sincere about Sata’s Israeli working holiday visit, we want to see footage of his activities in Tel Aviv,” Fr Chiti said.
He said it was shocking that Vice-President Guy Scott and the entire government did not know for how long President Sata would be in Israel and when he was likely to return home.
“We only got to hear about his visit and working holiday to Israel after he had already arrived. And what is more shocking is that government does not know for how long President Sata would be in Israel for his working holiday and when he is likely to come back home.,” Fr Chiti said.
Fr Chiti, who is also Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection executive director said he was disappointed that Vice-President Scott could speak angrily to anyone who was expressing concern about President Sata’s visit to Israel.
Fr Chiti said he expected Dr Scott to exhibit good leadership skills in the management of the tension and anxieties that had gripped the nation since President Sata left the country.
“Lack of clarity of president Sata’s visit to Israel is the reason for speculations and government officials must not be annoyed with anyone questioning the whereabouts of President Sata,” Fr Chiti said.
He said the President was not private property but a national asset and as such Zambians who voted for him reserved the right to demand to know where he was going and what he was doing because he was not representing himself.
Fr Chiti stated that it was unfair for Dr Scott to speak harshly about online media over speculations about the head of state’s health condition when government was failing to provide Zambians with accurate information.
And United Party for National Development (UPND) presidential advisor William Banda has condemned and described as unprofessional the manner in which government officials had been handling the President Sata’s visit to Israel.
Mr Banda also dispelled assertions that the UPND and its leader Hakainde Hichilema were allegedly causing the speculations about President Sata’s health.
He said the UPND and Mr Hichilema had always wished President Sata well because he had a lot of responsibilities delivering the promises he made to the Zambians.
“President Sata is my elder brother and best friend and at no time has anyone from UPND wished him dead including Mr Hichilema,” Mr Banda said.