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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid