Government is preparing to sneak out ailing President Michael Sata for treatment to either Israel or Korea so that he can appear in public briefly on Independence Day.
Meanwhile, the ‘A Team’ of Fred M’membe, Guy Scott, Wynter Kabimba and others is as intact as ever and in a better position to take over the presidency in case of anything but with Scott as President.
The PF regime is under pressure again to show Sata to the public for one week continuously during Independence celebrations, which will reach its climax on October 24, 2014. Sata is expected to lead the celebrations, which the PF seem determined to make very big.
To show how big the celebrations the PF wants them to be, both ceremonial vice-president Guy Scott and Foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba have disclosed that six Heads of State and Government have confirmed attendance.
Kalaba said Presidents of Namibia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda and Rwanda have confirmed their attendance while Nigeria will send its vice-president. If this happens, it will be the first time a sitting head of State will visit Zambia from the time Sata became President of Zambia.
But that is exactly where the problem is; if all these Presidents come, Sata will be required to be in public with them. In fact, he will be expected to welcome them at the airport and hold State banquets for them at Intercontinental or Pamodzi hotel with international and local journalists covering the event.
It would raise a lot of questions if six or more Presidents will be in the country but the host president hiding at State House.
‘That is why there is panic in the system. We are trying to show that other Presidents can come to Zambia but on the other hand, we are putting pressure on the president as you know he is very sick and can’t manage to be in public for a long time,’ said a government source.
President Sata is sick and unable to do his job. Late last month, he caused a stir and embarrassed Zambia when he failed to address the UN general assembly despite travelling to New York with a huge delegation of ministers, relatives and others. He hit international headlines when his wife phoned an emergency number, 911, from their hotel room. It seems Sata fainted or collapsed in the room prompting his wife to call 911. A day later and after doctors worked on him, Sata started asking his ministers what happened at the UN.
Two days before he travelled to New York, he collapsed just outside the Speaker’s office the day he forced himself to officially open parliament. Sata failed to read the speech prepared for him but instead murmured some jumbled sentences before leaving the speech to the Speaker. But that was before he told the whole world that ‘I am not dead’.
Given these previous events, the government is trying to avoid another embarrassment during independence celebrations by taking Sata for medical treatment to Israel or Korea.
Meanwhile, the Watchdog is reliably informed that the ‘A Team’ of Fred M’membe, Guy Scott, Wynter Kabimba and others is prepared to take over the presidency should there be a vacancy in the presidency.
‘If Sata dies today, it is Guy Scott to take over as president whether he is acting president or not,’ one lawyer told the Watchdog.
According to legal experts, whether Sata appoints Edgar Lungu or anyone else as acting president, if he dies it will be the substantive vice-president to take over as acting president until the elections.
Legal experts explain that if the president dies, the constitution will have to be followed to the later and in the constitution; it is the vice-president not acting president who takes over in case of vacancy in the office of the president. The acting president immediately ceases to act if the president who appointed him dies.
If the vice-president is also incapable, cabinet will have to sit and appoint one of them to act as president. But then who chairs that cabinet?
‘Why do you think Fred M’membe is fighting like the devil to keep Scott as vice-president,’ asked a source.
On the other hand, the tribal clique also knows this and that is why they want Scott out and replaced by one of them.