GOVERNMENT finds as extremely ‘irresponsible’ United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema’s continued utterances against President Michael Sata each time the head of state travels abroad.
Chief Government spokesperson, Mwansa Kapeya said contrary to Mr Hichilema’s assertions that the President had flown to India for medical treatment, President Sata was well and was in London on a working holiday wooing investors.
“Mr Hichilema knows very well the importance of the President’s foreign engagements which are meant to attract more investments for the growth of the economy of which Mr Hichilema himself is a beneficiary as a businessman,” Mr Kapeya said.
Mr Kapeya, who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said it was therefore misleading and mischievous for the UPND leader to suggest that the Head of State was unwell and had secretly flown out of the country.
He said that when a Head of State took a working holiday, it meant he was available and on call when and as need arose.
“Government expects Mr Hichilema as a politician who carries himself as a popular and political genius to be the last person failing to understand and appreciate a clearly worded statement issued by State House to announce the President’s departure for a working holiday,” he said.
He said Mr Hichilema apparently chose to ignore the statement and instead of checking the facts before him, and that he, in his ‘usual’ style called a press briefing and misinformed and misled the nation.
Mr Kapeya said the type of behaviour exhibited by Mr Hichilema only showed his desperation to ascend to the highest office in the land and that he would use every available opportunity to satisfy his insatiable appetite to become the next Head of State.
“Government further wishes to put on record its unhappiness with Mr Hichilema’s apparent excitement and immature outbursts whenever the Head of State either travels out on official duty or delegates, such duties to his Ministers.
“If a Head of State falls sick, a Government will not hesitate to inform the nation on the same,” he said.
Mr Kapeya urged members of the public to ignore Mr Hichilema’s “alarmist, unsubstantiated and irresponsible statements,” especially that State House cared to issue a statement to inform the nation on the President’s departure for the working holiday.
Mr Hichilema during a press briefing in Lusaka on Monday urged State House to clear the speculations on the President’s health.
Times of Zambia