Ceremonial vice-president Guy Scott this afternoon could not explain the exact nature of president Michael Sata’s holiday trip to Israel.
Giving a ministerial statement in parliament following a point of order by UPND Monze Central MP Jackie Mwiimbu who wanted government to clear the speculations and innuendos on Mr. Sata’s whereabouts, Scott said the president arrived in Israel.
“He arrived in Israel on Saturday and will meet Israel officials including out-going president Shimon Peres. So those making speculations on social media about the president’s whereabouts are just ill-formed,” Scott told the house.
During follow-up questions, opposition MMD Mumbwa MP Brian Chituwo said he was a medical doctor and wanted the vice-president to categorically state whether president Sata was enjoying good health and was really working in Israel.
But the deputy speaker Mkondo Lungu ruled that he would not allow any questions pertaining to the president’s health because Speaker of National Assembly Patrick Matibini had already made a ruling on the matter that the president was fine according to the government position.
MMD Mafinga MP Catherine Namugala asked when president Sata would return back to Zambia, but Scott said he did not know when the president was coming back to Zambia.
Kalomo UPND MP Request Muntanga asked why government did not inform the nation about the president’s trip and programme prior to departure only for the president to be heard in a foreign land, but Scott said the tradition of singing and escorting the president at the airport had been stopped.
Other MPs wondered why the nation was not regularly being informed of the president’s engagements on a daily basis, but Scott maintained the president was just on holiday.
Mwandi MMD MP Michael Kaingu caused laughter when he asked whether it was true that some ministers were not obeying instructions from the Acting president.