The Zambian Rainbow Coalition says president Sata’s actions so far appear unilateral, without any consultations and in many cases breach the law.
In a statement to the Watchdog, Rainbow Coalition president Cleopas Phiri said ‘We wish to heartily congratulate Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata on his election as Zambia’s fifth republican presidency. We also recognize the pivotal role played by the immediate past president, Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda for respecting the will of the people and quickly facilitating a smooth transition.
We note with a deep sense of concern that Mr. Sata has taken a path that raises alarm bells to the democratic aspirations of this country. His actions so far appear unilateral, without any consultations and in many cases breach the law.
The renaming of national airports and hospitals was done without any consultations to stakeholders and Zambians.
The dissolution of Energy Regulation Board, the dismissal of the Bank of Zambia Governor and the dismissal of the Anti Corruption Commission Director General all raises serious legal questions.
We are aware that the ACC Director General, because of the nature of the institutions and like judges of the High Court, enjoys security of tenure and can therefore not be fired in the manner Mr. Sata has done without cause or justifiable reason.
Further we are aware that powers of the presidency in Zambia, although extensive are exercised through institutions and his delegates such as Cabinet Ministers. The decision to dissolve ERB therefore, should have been done by his Minister of Energy.
His appointments of people as Cabinet Ministers and to other institutions have been made with tribal and nepotistic considerations. It is corruption of the highest order to appoint relatives and friends to government positions.
We condemn the rise of tribalism and nepotism so early in Mr. Sata’s presidency. This is unacceptable and has to be fought. Zambia is diverse in tribe and its leadership and government should reflect the fabric of its society.
We also noted that Mr. Guy Scot had taken office of the Vice Presidency and seemed to have been working before he took oath of office. Article 48 of the Republican Constitution prohibits anyone from taking office before they are sworn in or have taken oath of office.
Further, despite Mr. Sata being elected mostly by young voters, he has instead chosen to populate his cabinet and other appointments with very old and aged people. This is a clear betrayal to the cause of young people who turned enmass to put this government into power.
We urge the MMD and the UPND to strengthen their political relation and alliance so that they can provide effective checks and balances.