Frantic attempts are being made by the PF government to prepare President Sata for the ceremonial opening of the National Assembly next month.
State House sources revealed that the problem was that Sata has lost his voice due to throat cancer but he has to read the speech at the National Assembly as per protocol and added that medical specialists from overseas have been flown in to conduct another very delicate operation on his vocal cords to restore his ‘finished’ voice.
The source said it was a crisis because the opening of parliament cannot be delegated and expressed fear that even if Sata’s voice was worked on, he may not manage to go through the process of inspecting a guard of honour and climbing up the stairs at the entrance of Parliament building.
‘He may not climb those stairs at National Assembly and inspect the guard of honour which is stressful so he may only go through one line of the guard of honour and get back in his car and enter the building from the other entrance where there are lifts,’ said the source.
The source said they may inject Sata with a stronger drug to enable him go to the National Assembly and read the speech even for only ten minutes and leave the place to show that he is fine but expressed fear that if they give him a stronger injection it may lead to a heart attack.
The source said should these options fail then they will attempt to manipulate the interpretation of the law so that the National Assembly should open without the President.
For almost two months now, Sata has been incapacitated to do his duty as president and most of his duties have been delegated to another old, tired man Guy Scott. The function of recognising ambassadors to Zambia has been delegated to Foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba.
Most of the crucial presidential decisions are now made the joint Defence and Security Command to make sure the country is safe.
It has already been confirmed that Sata would be unable to attend the annual Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) summit which is taking place this weekend in Zimbabwe.
Foreign Affairs minister Harry Kalaba will represent Sata at SADC.
Sata will also miss another very important meeting of presidents next month in
Vienna, Austria in September.
On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs minister Harry Kalaba was at pains to justify Sata’s incapacity to do his job.
Speaking on Radio Phoenix, Kalaba said:
“It is also good when the President does not travel a lot because the cost associated with presidential trips is colossal. So Zambians should in fact be happy that the PF Government is saving some money by having President Sata delegate some of these functions to the Vice President and Ministers,” Mr Kalaba explained.