UPND president Hakainde Hichilema would only buy President Michael Sata a first class air ticket to India on condition that the Head of State removes Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda because she had failed the required Parliamentary ratification process. He also wants the President to retire his 14 days imprest.
Hichilema said Justice Chibesakunda had over-stayed as Acting Chief Justice and that she had severely eroded the credibility of the Judiciary.
He said he would be able to meet President Sata’s demands for a first class air ticket to India if the Head of State delivered a people-driven constitution, reinstated the maize and fuel subsidies, and introduced windfall tax among other conditions.
Hichilema said that he was happy that he was the first opposition political party leader to have recalled a sitting president from a working holiday but demanded that President Sata and his entourage should immediately show proof that they had retired the imprest they had signed for the 14 days holiday.
Speaking at a media briefing at the UPND secretariat yesterday, Hichilema said President Sata did not have a serious presidential schedule while in London and that was why he had suddenly cut his working holiday without difficulties.
Hichilema said President Sata had given Zambians a good reason to believe that he was in London for no national programme charging that the Head of State was abroad to loiter.
“For the President to cut short his working holiday with ease when prodded as to what he was doing outside the country is a clear indication that he had no serious programmes to attend to there. In other words, he was idling, wasting public resources when Zambians needed him to attend to many challenges at home created by his poor leadership. He must show proof that he has reimbursed the imprest he signed for the 14 days so that it can go back to the treasury,” Hichilema said.
Hichilema said he was able to buy an air ticket for President Sata to travel to India but that he would only do so if the President was going to reduce the price of mealie meal and create real jobs for a mass of unemployed youths roaming in the streets.
Hichilema said President Sata should first consider reinstating University of Zambia students who were expelled for demonstrating over the release of the draft constitution that is currently in the custody of the Ministry of Justice.
He said the health sector had been completely paralysed following the dismissal of more than 500 nurses across the country and that President Sata should listen to the voices and cries of the many Zambians over the plight of the health sector.
And Hichilema said it was normal for any human being to fall ill and that no one should get too sensitive and emotionally charged about it.The UPND leader recalled that President Sata while in the opposition mocked late president Levy Mwanawasa, late George Kunda who was then vice-president and late Anderson Mazoka, the first UPND leader. “Mr Sata even called for a medical board to examine the health of the then sitting president Mwanawasa. He called late George Kunda despicable names. This is sad and unacceptable in a civilized society,” Hichilema said.