USA ambassador to Zambia Mark C. Storella is said to be taking the direct blame from his government for misleading that country to financially and logistically support president Michael Sata in the 2011 elections.
Intelligence reports received by the Watchdog suggest that it is just a matter of time before Storrela is recalled.
The USA covertly supported Sata under the advice from the embassy in Zambia that once in power, Sata’s economic and other policies will be pro-west as opposed to being a disciple of China.
Other Western governments were also dragged along but UK, even if it also supported Sata through DFiD, cautioned USA on Sata’s trustworthiness.
In direct contrast and to the annoyance of USA, Sata, once a critic of China, is now a very good ambassador of the One China policy.
The USA is also said to be incensed by Sata’s love for Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe.
Senior members of the Rupiah Banda administration tell the Watchdog that the day when votes were being counted in Zambia, Mark Storrela was on the phone urging former president Rupiah Banda to concede defeat even before counting had finished.
Just before elections, USA secretary of State Hilary Clinton visited Zambia and met Sata at the USA embassy.
It is believed that Clinton’s visit was to support the Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) which was manned by foreign computer experts and designed to favour the PF.
When Clinton visited Zambia, the same time she met Sata, she told journalists that:
“Thanks (Zambia) for supporting calls to stop state-sponsored violence including in Zimbabwe. Thank you for supporting a peaceful transition in Madagascar.
“We are concerned that China’s foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance and that it has not always utilised the talents of African people in pursuing its citizens’ interests.
“We want to work more closely with China and other countries to make sure that when we engage with Africa we are doing it in a sustainable manner that will benefit the nations and people of Africa. Therefore, we have begun a dialogue with China about its activities in Africa.”
During the 2011 elections which produced Sata as president, the PF campaign philosophy was ‘donchi kubeba’. It means get money but don’t do what you have been bribed to do.
The USA embassy in Zambia may have been impressed by this pro-corruption slogan but little did they know that it applies to them as well.
Just after winning elections, Sata turned against his sponsors. One of his first public acts was to hold a feast for Chinese businessmen and envoys based in Zambia.
During that feast, Sata said: “My dear brothers and sisters from China, and Chinese Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao, you are all welcomed in Zambia, because you are the all-weather friends of Zambia”.
Sata told the Chinese that in terms of economic and social development, Zambia walked too slowly while China ran too fast. He also described the Chinese people as hard-working people who are willing to do the hard jobs that others do not like to do.
He said if there were too many Chinese in Zambia, it was not the Chinese, but the local officials to be blamed as it were them who issued the work permits.
In the following months, Sata grew very close to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe.
From the time Sata became president, there has only been one president to visit Zambia: Robert Mugabe.
He has been to Zambia three times so far from the time Sata became president.
But perhaps the biggest insult to Americas and their support was when their former president George Bush and his wife visited Zambia.
Bush was in Zambia to help fight cancer and brought a lot of money with him.
But Michael Sata from nowhere denounced the former American head of state as a “colonialist” who had stolen away Africa’s resources.
Sata told Bush to his face that he was in Zambia to pay back for what his ‘colonialist’ country had taken away from Africa.
“The most interesting thing, previously there used to be four great countries: United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia and France. And you have all drifted away; you have abandoned Africa after taking all our raw commodities, our raw materials and build your cities,” President Sata said during his public attack against Bush at State House. ”I mean, as far as you are concerned Africa doesn’t exist. And when we have a former colonialist like you coming back to pay back what you took out of this country we are grateful.”
Noting Sata’s attitude towards USA, ambassador Storrela has been frequenting State House in what sources say is an attempt to ‘re-align’ Sata to USA.
But Sata was not amused at all and told the Zambian public on 11 September, 2012 that some ambassadors like going to Sate House without appointments.
Sata warned “some ambassador”, who was in the habit of going directly to State House without seeking appointment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to respect Zambia’s territorial integrity.
The Watchdog was later informed that the ‘some ambassador’ Sata was shouting at is Mark Storrella, the USA envoy in Zambia.
“Go through foreign affairs. I am not going to mention the names of those ambassadors who have the habit of thinking ‘I can go to State House’. Even if in your own house, if your own son or your own daughter is in the toilet, you can’t go in. Please go to foreign affairs and foreign affairs will clear you but we will always like to exchange… and you ambassadors and high commissioners, find time to tour Zambia.
Mark Storrela was sworn in as President Obama’s personal representative and Ambassador to the Republic of Zambia on August 30, 2010. He is serving simultaneously as the U.S. Representative to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). He leads a mission of seven U.S. agencies with over 350 staff and a bilateral assistance budget of $380 million in 2011.
Ambassador Storella previously served at U.S. embassies in Rome, Phnom Penh, Paris and Bangkok. At the Department of State, he was Executive Assistant to the Counselor and served on the NATO and Japan desks, according to his profile on the USA embassy website.