News / Africa

Zambia VP Rejects State of Nation Address Criticisms

Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Peter Clottey
Zambia opposition groups have criticized President Michael Sata for failing to deliver a state of the nation address two years after he was elected as the country’s leader.

But, Vice President Guy Scott dismissed the criticisms, insisting that Zambians are well informed about the administration’s efforts to improve the lives of citizens.

In an interview with VOA, Vice President Scott said it’s not the style of President Sata to hold official news conferences in order to deliver his government’s agenda and the direction he want to take the country.

“It’s a matter of style rather than substance…it’s not his style. He doesn’t go for the formal setting of a press conference [etc.],” said Scott. “Our president, when he wants to say something, he seizes an opportunity such as a swearing in ceremony of a new minister or somebody like that and he says what he has to say after finishing the swearing in.”

                    Economy

Opponents say Sata has so far refused to follow tradition of governance, contending that all his predecessors delivered state of the nation addresses once every year.

They said citizens need to be informed about the country’s economic performance as well as the government’s policy initiative to improve living conditions, as promised in the run up to the election. 

They also said prices of goods and services, including Mealie-meal, a staple food made from maize, have sharply increased without any explanation from the administration. Scott disagreed.

“We run a government, we don’t run a one-man show, and information has been flowing quite densely actually,” said Scott. “The minister of agriculture has answered what we are doing about Mealie-meal prices. The underlining problem is the regional shortage of maize due to poor weather across a wide area, not just Zambia, [this] has been explained to people and counter measures have been elaborated.”

                    Party infighting

Some Zambians say infighting among Patriotic Front’s (PF) rank and file is having a crippling effect on the functioning of the administration.

Party supporters recently demanded the removal of the group’s secretary general, Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba.

They accuse him of undermining the PF after he claimed different members within the party are using tribalism to force him out.    
                                                    
“Since when did you have politics without a little bit of infighting? Show me a political party in which there is no contention, no differences of opinion, no struggle for succession? It will be a party no one has ever heard of,” said Scott.

He also dismissed reports that he has formally resigned as the country’s vice president.

                    Resignation

Security minister Geoffrey Mwamba resigned after a fallout with the government. But some analysts say the administration will unleash state institutions, including the Internal Revenue Service, to intimidate and harass the former cabinet minister.  Scott denied reports that Mr. Mwamba would be targeted.

“The specific threat to investigate the financial affairs of the former minister of defense, I have heard people talk about it saying it would be most unfair to be investigated or something like that,” said Scott. “But I have heard any threat from the party because it is more of a party affair than the government affair. Again, this is just made up or inferred.”

Scott also denied media reports that he has resigned his position as the country’s vice president.
Clottey interview with Guy Scott, Zambia's Vice President
Clottey interview with Guy Scott, Zambia's Vice Presidenti
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid