28 July 2012

Zambia: Stop Demeaning Sata, Says Kabimba

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Secretary-General, Wynter Kabimba has advised the opposition to end the growing habit of writing letters that are contemptuous to President Michael Sata on national issues.

Mr Kabimba said some opposition party leaders were pretending to be writing the letters to champion national issues when in fact they aimed at demeaning the President.

He said President Sata has an open-door policy and welcomed views from different political party leaders and ordinary Zambians but that this should not be abused in a fashion of venting anger at the President.

Mr Kabimba was speaking on 'Let the People Talk' programme on Radio Phoenix in Lusaka yesterday.

Recently, United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema wrote to Mr Sata stating that the head of State had been demeaning important national issues.

MMD president, Nevers Mumba also wrote to Mr Sata complaining that the appointment of Members of Parliament (MPs) from his party into Government was an assault to democracy.

But Mr Kabimba charged that opposition political leaders have been writing letters that were not well-meaning instead of focusing on issues that would benefit the country.

"President Sata is a personable leader and has an open-door policy. Any person, be it a political leader or an ordinary person, can write to the President or make an appointment but it is wrong to write contemptuous letters to him.

"You can make a point by being polite and not to belittle the head of State. Don't lecture him of how to dress during State functions, it is important to respect him as President. He was elected by the people and hence we ought to give him the respect he deserves," he said.

President Sata has received correspondence from the two opposition leaders who have engaged in personal attack to discredit him over what they have termed as 'national issues.'

Mr Kabimba said the country did not have a strong opposition movement to contribute to the growth of the economy because the parties spent a lot of time on personal matters.

"There is no opposition, the opposition is weak, all they want is to fight the President and they are not being meaningful to the development of this country. They must concentrate on mobilising their parties," he said.

He said the PF was the one in Government currently and the opposition should wait until 2016 to have a chance of forming the next government.

He said it was vital for those in opposition in the meantime to re-organise their parties and not carry on with the bitterness of losing the 2011 elections.

On President Sata's decision to appoint opposition MPs in his Cabinet, Mr Kabimba reiterated that the President wanted to have an all-inclusive Government.

He added that the MMD should not cry foul on this issue because the former ruling party did set precedence on appointing MPs from opposition to Cabinet.

"Every Zambian across partisan lines can be chosen to take part in the governance of this country.

"We have invited members of the MMD because they have skills that can benefit the country," he said.

On vendors, Mr Kabimba reiterated that it was important for Cabinet ministers to implement policies in line with the party manifesto.

He said the party manifesto had a direction on how to handle the issue of vending and that issuing ultimatum was not an immediate solution.

He said Government was determined to create jobs and empower citizens and that was the direction that would address, among other issues, street vending which was as a result of unemployment.

Asked to state the position of the PF on the running-mate clause in the Constitution, Mr Kabimba said the party had not taken a stance on the matter.

On the economy, he said it was Government's obligation to expand the country's economy by creating more employment in the private sector.

He said Government would promote policies that would expand the private sector and make it more viable.

He said this was aimed at cutting Government as being the major employer so that expenditure could be diverted to other needy sectors.

"By revamping and creating more jobs in the private sector, Government would be able to save millions and would be able to invest in other sectors of the economy," he said.

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