It is illogical for government officials to continue lying about President Michael Sata’s absence from the public eye when Zambians know him as an extrovert who loves the limelight and the media, says Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) national coordinator Father Leonard Chiti.
And former secretary to the cabinet Skechley Sachika has said cabinet ministers must be held responsible for failing to clear the air on the withdrawal of the head of state from the public domain.
Father Chiti said if President Sata was fit and was working hard, he did not understand the reasons why ministers were going to extremes in shielding the Head of State.
“Officially, he is fit and working hard, but should he not be showing us his works, the fruits of his labour? We know that politicians have perfected the art of lying and so we do not believe his state of health from the statements,” he said.
Father Chiti said whatever was happening to the Republican President could not be so ugly that the Zambian people would have difficulty in knowing about it or accepting it.
He said government should look at this from the perspective of Christianity, and from a moral perspective that people should be told what exactly was happening to the President regardless of its unpleasant nature.
“What is happening to our beloved President? As JCTR we appeal to our government leaders to show charity and be honest to the nation no matter how ugly this could be, we want to know what is going on,” he said.
And Fr Chiti complained that the current leadership vacuum caused by the unexplainedwithdrawal from the public of President Sata had the potential to discourage would be foreign investment into the economy.
“Surely if you are an investor, you would be worried about whether to place your investmentsin an economy with an ‘AWOL’ leadership. Economically, this situation has the potential to scare away new investments,” he said.
And Dr Sachika said cabinet ministers must be hold responsible for failing to clear the air on the withdrawal of the head of state from public.
He said there was no harm for the government to clear the nation on the President’s absence from the public figure.
Dr Sachika said the route government had taken to defend the absence of the President from the public compromised state security.
He said Government should have used the correct procedure to address the ongoing rumours.
“I see no reason why the government is not following protocol. It is the duty of every government to inform its people about what was happening if they are to put to rest all the rumors surrounding the disappearance of the head of state,” he said.
Dr Sachika said it was unprecedented for cabinet to operate without the head of state, adding that if the President was unable to administer his duties, Cabinet, on behalf of the people must follow constitutional procedure.