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

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs