Mr Editor This is Sidique Gondwe Geloo, president of the Association of Zambians in Atlanta. Please allow me to respond to Guy Scott using your prestigious online news paper.
I am sincerely buffled and trying to make meaningful interpretation of what Vice President Guy Scott meant when he appealed to the diaspora to stop attack campaigns of criticisms against President Sata. Last time I checked, the aforementioned is the one that has seemingly turned against the diaspora.
Before I list a number of reasons why I feel the President has no respect neither does he care for the diaspora, I wish to mention that we Zambians in the diaspora are patriots, we respect and speak well of our President but in the pursuit for dialogue, it is allowed to criticize where we feel PF is not performing well. The diaspora always applauses the government when they do well, though unfortunately, PF has been very condenscending in their attitude towards Zambians abroad.
So why should we heed Guy Scott’s call when :
1) Both Sata and Scott have personally expressed disinterest in our call for DUAL CITIZENSHIP. Yes the issue is under discussion but the two leaders have pre emptively shot it down with a ‘NO’ before the issue is solved. How can we take Scotts call seriously when Sata was not serious about it after being asked in Botswana concerning the matter,telling us dual citizenship is Rupiah Banda’s selfish ploy.
You want us to stand up for Sata, when will he stand up for us?
2) Sata accused us of running away from Zambia. He may have been trying to stress a point, but how does he expect us to create rapport with him when he, the man that the diaspora helped put in power, points a finger at us – without Presidential etiquette- threatening that our interests in Zambia will be accorded to Pakistanis and Chinese if we don’t return ?
You are calling on the diaspora to support him when Sata himself has not supported us. I believe there is room for dialogue.
3) Minister Miles Sampa said they are working on foreign accounts that will help the diaspora. Good news, but until that happens, any development achieved seems nominal.For example ,the former Lusaka
International Airport is still in a very poor state, the only development achieved is changing it’s name to Kenneth Kaunda Airport, maybe explaining why KK has become their new poster child. Muchinga Province is another nominal achievement. PF has also claimed they have created 200,000 new jobs. That, to most of us, sounds like a nominal claim more than it is factual on the ground.
4) I suspect the venture to regulate Press Freedom on the diapora has been a hectic one hence the call on the diaspora to stop the so called vicious attacks on Sata.
Scott ,do not smile at us only when you need us, be more proactive. We send millions of dollars back home, we are a very important constituency. Please treat us like one.