AN eye witness who claimed he was the closest from the place where Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata collapsed has challenged the PF leader to be honest instead of denying an incident that was witnessed by hundreds of Nalolo residents at Nasilumwe basic school in Senanga.
And Sata has appealed to the Watchdog to stop writing that he is sick. Sata told the Watchdog that he does not understand why the Watchdog is publishing what he called lies against him when he has always given them interviews.
“You the Watchdog at no time have I ever refused to give you interviews but you decided to peddle lies against me, you have joined a group of my enemies too wishing me dead ahead of the elections and it won’t be surprising to see you publish a story stating that Sata is dead.”
Sata said politicians should know that Zambia as a country was more important than any of the participants in the political arena of the country.
He said it was unfortunate that President Rupiah Banda and his agents have decided to engage in politics of character assassination which, he said were detrimental to the promotion of free and fair elections.
Sata said good leaders will always strive to tell the truth and not to wish others dead for the sake of securing a victory.
“I am not complaining about anything, I am not sick and did not collapse, tell Rupiah Banda and his agents to practice maturity in the manner they conduct politics, they should not character assassinate me because Zambia is bigger than Sata, Zambia is bigger than Banda and the people of Zambia deserves better than what is happening today under President Banda’s regime, young people want jobs, education, people are hungry and let him address these issues than telling people that am dead or have collapsed,” he said.
Mr Sata is on a campaign trail in Western Province as the September 20, 2011 election date fast approaches when Zambians will vote for a president to lead the country for the next five years but reports said he collapsed while disembarking from a hired helicopter in Nalolo Constituency. Mr Joseph Mbangweta of the nearby Kalwani Namonde Village charged that Mr Sata was picked from the ground by a pilot who pulled him to rest and challenged PF chairperson for local government Given Lubinda to tell the truth on the matter.
Mr Sata made a telephone call to QFM Radio yesterday during the MTN-sponsored Power breakfast live show to deny reports that he collapsed and said he was very healthy, which has surprised the residents of Nalolo Constituency who witnessed the incident as he was pulled off the ground. Mr Mbangweta said Mr Lubinda was the one who was leading the national anthem at a rally after Mr Sata was aided from the ground and that the PF leader should not have denied falling but merely stated that he was fine.
He said many people saw Mr Sata on the ground and there was no way all those who attended the rally could tell lies about the incident.
“Those who are helping Mr Sata to deny this are dishonest. People who do not believe should just make calls to anyone in Nalolo area which is across the Zambezi river and they will hear the truth. He fell to the ground and pilots picked him from there,” Mr Mbangweta said. Mr Mbangweta said Mr Sata was accompanied by Nalolo PF parliamentary candidate Inonge Wina who also addressed the rally in Lozi language. “Let them deny all this. I was there personally and the leaders even failed to sing the national anthem because some PF cadres were making noise and this disturbed them,” Mr Mbangweta said.
He said Mr Sata collapsed as he disembarked from the helicopter but shortly after that, he looked okay which made it possible for him to address the people. In his address, Mr Mbangweta said, Mr Sata threatened to arrest Government leaders and senior MMD followers and that he would deal firmly with people who had accused him of promoting homosexuality. He said the rally took place at the big trees within the premises at Nasilumwe basic school.
Mr Lubinda declined to comment on the matter