Sources at cabinet office and PF government have questioned the high delegation of relatives and friends that President Michael Sata took to Brazil to attend the Rio+20 global meeting on climate change.
The sources told the Watchdog that other than FDD president Edith Nawakwi and NAREP president Elias Chipimo jr, Sata also took irrelevant people with expenses paid on tax payers money.
Among those in Sata’s delegation whose mission has been described as personal yet paid by government are Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba (GBM)’s wife Chama Mwamba and Sally Yamba, wife to Secretary to the Treasurer, Fredson Yamba.
Sally Yamba is sister to Dr. Christine Kaseba, Sata’s wife.
Another source said these people in the delegation have gone to order the Marcopolo buses that are manufactured in Brazil, which is GBM’s other business.
But sources wondered how all these people can be in the government delegation on tax-payers money when they have gone for personal businesses.
“What HH (UPND leader) says is the truth regarding PF government wastage of resources at the expense of other needy areas such as schools and hospital. It true the country has no plan indeed”, sources said.
“You can even see in the Zambian Daily front page picture for today, all those people are there. How are they connected to the energy sector and climate change conference when they are just relatives on private business?” sources said.
A source in PF also said it was painful to defend some actions by President Sata because senior officials were not even consulted.
Already we have withdrawn all vehicles and buses that were taking civil servants to and from work places in the name of cost serving, how can we now convince people to tighten their belts when relatives are paladed like that at government expense on such a long trip? This is even worse than Former President Rupiah Banda’s trips who mainly carried ministers and technocrats”, sources said.
As opposition leader, President Sata was always critical of Rupiah’s delegations sometimes questioning why RB took then first lady Thandiwe Banda.
But Sata’s public relations wing at the Post newspaper have always portrayed him as a humble and simple person who cared more with people’s welfare than wastage.
Sata was even praised by the Post Newspaper for using a min-bus in Livingstone.
President arrived in Brazil yesterday for the Rio+20 conference welcomed by his former secretary at Farmer’s House Cynthia Jungulo.