DEPUTY Speaker of the National Assembly Mkhondo Lungu has directed that Vice-President Guy Scott gives a position on President Sata’s health and whereabouts.
Mr Lungu said in order to put an end to speculations on President Sata’s whereabouts or health, Dr Scott, as leader of Government business in the House, must issue a statement on the matter in parliament.
“I request the leader of Government business, the Vice President – who is not here – to make a statement on the matter by Thursday. He can issue the statement even tomorrow [today] if he is ready,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu was responding to a point of order by Monze Central Member of Parliament (UPND) Jack Mwiimbu, who said there is a lot of speculation about President Sata’s health and whereabouts.
“Mr Speaker, people are wondering if President Sata is truly in Israel for a working holiday. There is a lot of speculation. Is this Government in order to remain quiet?” Mr Mwiimbu asked.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda has told Parliament that the Bank of Zambia put in place safeguards and measures to guard against sophisticated crime during the switch-over from the old currency to the new currency.
Mr Chikwanda said cash deposits are processed for authenticity before destruction by the central bank.
He was responding to a written question from Lukulu West MP (UPND) Misheck Mutelo, who wanted to know whether the extended period for exchanging old notes for new ones would be a loop-hole for sophisticated crime.
“The Bank of Zambia conducted campaigns aimed at alerting the public to be vigilant so as to guard against unscrupulous individuals who may take advantage of the cash exchange exercise,” Mr Chikwanda said.
He said the exchange of the old currency, which commenced on January 1, 2013, will last for 24 months to give an opportunity to those living in rural areas, where there are no banks.
And Mr Chikwanda said the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) lent out K341 million to various business houses as of December 2013.
He was responding to a written question from Gwembe MP (UPND) Brian Ntundu, who wanted to know the amounts the bank had lent out.