The opposition United Liberal Party (ULP) has challenged Republican President Michael Sata to share his reflections when he returns home by engaging the media through a press conference.
Party president, Sakwiba Sikota, says his party welcomes the move for the Head of State to go for a retreat somewhere and reflect on national matters affecting Zambia.
Mr Sikota observes that as per tradition in the history of Zambia, any sitting President, like Mr Sata, always shared their reflections with the nation and addressed contentious issues through the press during the period of reflection.
Mr Sikota says First Republican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, his successor, the late Frederick Chiluba, late Levy Mwanawasa and fourth and immediate past President, Rupiah Banda, used to go for retreats to Kasaba Bay and Mfuwe and held press conferences at State House where they shared their reflections through the media and hence for President Sata to follow suit and share his reflections when he returns to Zambia.
The ULP leader was speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka today.
“As ULP, we are eagerly waiting for President Sata to share his reflections with the nation when he returns home from his retreat. The former presidents, Kenneth Kaunda, Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanasawsa, Rupiah Banda did and so President Sata should do so and share his reflections when he returns home,” Mr Sikota said.
Mr Sikota, a renowned lawyer, however, commended Government for breaking the silence on the whereabouts of the head of state.
“It is a good thing for Government to break the silence on the whereabouts of the Head of State who is the father of the nation but we challenge President Sata to hold a press conference when he returns home and share his reflections with us,” he said.
Chief Government Spokesperson, Kennedy Sakeni, said on national television, ZNBC news Saturday evening that President Sata needs time to reflect and have a peace of mind alone in a secret location after working so hard.
Mr Sakeni said there is no need for the Zambian people to panic because there was an Acting President, Alexander Chikwanda in place and that it is unnecessary to speculate about the whereabouts of President Sata.
Mr Sakeni, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, could not disclose when President Sata would be back but assured the nation the Head of State will be back in the country shortly.
Ruling Patriotic Front Media and Publicity Director, Chanda Mfula, added his voice, saying the Government is not in a crises and service delivery was not on a stand-still to force it to make public whereabouts of President Sata.
Mr Mfula said Mr Sata is enjoys to live a private life and, therefore, confidentiality should be respected because government has not stopped functioning noble duties.
He stated that there is no need to speculate about the whereabouts of President Sata as he is safe ‘somewhere’ and in good health.
A number of people have been questioning on the whereabouts of the President since the Head of State never arrived in the country after the close of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa last week.
Among them is out-spoken opposition MMD president Dr Nevers Mumba, who has demanded that the nation be told the condition and whereabouts of President Sata.
Dr Mumba said lack of information as to the whereabouts of the father of the nation after the AU Summit was unfortunate as it breeds anxiety amongst the Zambian citizens.
Dr Mumba advised government that it was imperative that Zambians were informed of the travels of the Head of state for various reasons.
The opposition leader charged that the President is entitled to be flown to any destination where perceived best medical attention could be given and as such if President Sata is sick such information would help the citizens to pray for the Head of State.