The challenge Brebner Changala’s requesting Cabinet to establish a Medical Board to investigate the health status of President Michael Sata has undoubtedly raised many questions.
Article 36 of the constitution provides for such a board to be constituted by Cabinet when doubts about the mental and physical state of a Republican President arise.
Cabinet has not constituted such a board in spite of very clear examples as cited by Changala where the President has been allowed to act out of character in serious national functions and indeed his pallor and gaunt disposition have become increasingly worrisome.
That it took a private citizen to make such a demand is an indictment to many, especially those around the President who were privy to the situation.
If anything the medical profession in Zambian will be called to account for allowing the President, however stubborn, to perform national functions when he is not particularly well.
The President like any other Zambian has a right to feel unwell and as number one citizen to receive express and expert medical services.
He should not go to Israel in circumstances that cause alarm and consternation. It should have been a well planned trip that developed from regular consultation.
Of course a board can be convened in empathy or indeed malicious reasons.
We believe Mr Changala’s request is not malicious as he has supported his request with what is already in the public domain.
In any case, this board Mr Changala is asking for does not have a pre-determined outcome but would either confirm or disapprove allegations of incapacity of a Head of State.
This is important for the good of the country and more importantly for the good of the President himself and his family.
President Sata’s acts and personal antics in the last few months have not sat well with many who have followed the Presidency since Zambia attained Independence in 1964.
In the last few months, Mr Sata’s media footage and pictures have confirmed the need for right thinking members of Zambia to boldly advise the Head of State to attend to his health.
But we do not expect the request to be received with the civility it deserves as those who surround President Sata have both collective and individual interests.
Collectively, the President’s men and women would not like Mr Sata to be medically examined. They have concluded he will be found wanting when Mr Changala’s request is not a prejudiced undertaking.
These are the men and women who pretend they love Mr Sata until the unthinkable happens.
Individually, some people surrounding Mr Sata would not want the Medical Board for fear of being exposed as incompetent personnel.
They would rather sit around, wine and dine without their acts or inactions coming to scrutiny for failure to advise the President correctly.
These people with personal interest would do anything to preserve the status quo instead of ensuring that the health of Mr Sata became a priority.
We hope that Mr Changala’s request to have a Medical Board established will not receive responses coated with innuendos and character assassination.
All those interested in debating the merits and demerits of this request should participate with sober minds as all Zambians are interested in the well-being of Mr Sata, the man they voted for to deliver on his pre-election mega promises.