News / Africa

Zambian Official Criticizes Opposition Over President’s Health Issue

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’s information minister says some opposition leaders want to score “cheap political points” over whether President Sata traveled abroad for medical treatment.

Opposition leaders are demanding to know where President Sata went after government officials said he was going on a two-week working vacation following a summit in Ethiopia.

Mwansa Kapeya says the issue of the President’s health should not be used for political reasons. 

“It is very unfortunate that some Zambians who behave in a  very unchristian way, because you start talking about someone’s  health it clearly shows that there is something wrong in you as a human being,” said Kapeya. “It worries everybody the kind of politicking that some of the politicians are engaging in. It is a pity that we can go to that level of thinking.”

Zambian media, however, reported that Mr. Sata went to India and subsequently to the United Kingdom to seek medical attention before returning home. This prompted the opposition to demand answers about his health condition.       

Zambian media quoted Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) as saying

“As a matter of clarity, to be sick is normal and is human. No one should get too sensitive and emotional about it especially when one is a public servant. It is on record that Mr. Sata and some of his friends used to mock the late President Mwanawasa, Vice President George Kunda and Mr. Anderson Mazoka when they were unwell,” said Hichilema adding Mr. Sata called for a medical board to examine the health of the then sitting President Mwanawasa. “He called the late George Kunda red lips, to mention just a few examples. This is sad and unacceptable in a civilized society,” said Hichilema.

Opposition leaders say Zambians should know whether or not Sata is medically fit to hold office.  They say Zambians should be told when their leader goes abroad to seek medical care if only to include him in their prayers.

Information Minister Kapeya says Zambians know full well that the opposition leaders are just playing politics with the health of the president.

“It is the first time that one opposition political party is behaving in such manner. It’s a strange culture that we are witnessing in Zambia….You fail to understand the kind of thinking that we have in some politicians in this country,” said Kapeya.

Kapeya also rejected criticism that administration officials often seek medical attention in first class health institutions abroad.

“We have a big hospital and there is a special wing called the fast track whereby we [ministers] fall sick that is where we go to,” said Kapeya.
Clottey interview with Mwansa Kapeya, Zambia's information minister
Clottey interview with Mwansa Kapeya, Zambia's information ministeri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid