PARTIOTC Front president Michael Sata has said late president Mwanawasa’s decision to evacuate him to South Africa for treatment after he suffered a heart problem was a public relations gimmick.
Mr Sata said in an interview on Tuesday that Dr Mwanawasa thought he (Mr Sata) had already died and the decision to send him for treatment would have been a mere formality.
He claimed that Dr Mwanawasa was trying to play public relations so that people could think his Government had flown Mr Sata for treatment when he had already died.
Mr Sata was reacting to former National Energy Sector and Allied Workers Union (NESAWU) General Secretary Yotam Mtayachalo who accused the PF leader of being hypocritical for saying Dr Mwanawasa had wanted him to die in jail.
Mr Mtayachalo said the PF leader was being ungrateful for accusing Dr Mwanawasa of wanting him to die in jail when he had saved his life by sending him to South Africa for treatment.
Mr Mtayachalo said in Ndola on Tuesday that it was unfortunate that Mr Sata who was full of praises for Dr Mwanawasa after having his life saved by being evacuated to South Africa for treatment, could now insinuate that the late president wanted him to die in jail when he was incarcerated over the case involving a motor vehicle.
Mr Mtayachalo said it was hypocritical for Mr Sata to accuse the late president of wanting him to die in prison when the PF leader had been on record praising Dr Mwanawasa for having served his life.
He said Mr Sata’s inconsistent statements were making it difficult for Zambians to be convinced that he would make a good leader if elected president.
Mr Sata was on Tuesday quoted in The Post newspaper as having said Dr Mwanawasa would have arrested him if he was corrupt when he was in Government but further went on to say the late president wanted him to die in prison but could not succeed.
“The biggest problem with Mr Sata is his high level of inconsistency. If you look at his statement, he is saying Dr Mwanawasa would have arrested him if he was corrupt when he was in Government and the same Mr Sata is saying Dr Mwanawasa wanted him to die in jail, what then was he doing in jail? Why was he arrested and put in jail during
Dr Mwanawasa’s reign? One cannot go to jail and at the same time claim that he is too clean,” he said.
Mr Mtayachalo said it was now clear that Mr Sata was panicking as evidenced by the various unclear statements he was issuing with the aim of clearing his image by featuring on various radio stations since several allegations against him were exposed.
But Mr Sata said Dr Mwanawasa ignorantly saved his life because he was told that the PF leader was actually already dead.
“Yes Mwanawasa saved my life ignorantly because he was told that I was already dead and he was told by some people that I would actually not even survive the flight to South Africa. Dr Mwanawasa just wanted to play public relations.
“You see even my priest, Father Chilinda also came to Care for Business Hospital where I was admitted with the aim of administering the last olive oil on me because he was also told that I was already dead but I told him that I was not going to die,” Mr Sata said.
He claimed that even Dr Mwanawasa himself confirmed to him that he was told that the PF leader was actually already died. “What I am saying is the truth. There is nothing I can lie against the dead. How many times did Dr Mwanawasa send me to jail?” he said,
Soures Times of Zambia