News / Africa

    Zambian President Sata on ‘Working Vacation’ in Israel

    FILE - Zambia President Michael Sata delivers a speech on May 17, 2013 during the commissioning of the construction of Palabana University in Chongwe, 60 kms east of Lusaka.
    FILE - Zambia President Michael Sata delivers a speech on May 17, 2013 during the commissioning of the construction of Palabana University in Chongwe, 60 kms east of Lusaka.
    Peter Clottey

    Zambia’s information minister says President Michael Sata is on a working holiday visit to Israel aimed at attracting Israeli investors. Mwansa Kapeya dismissed media reports that the trip was designed so that Sata could get medical care for an undisclosed ailment.

    Opposition groups say Sata’s last few public appearances have shown him frail and tired and that he has a history of seeking medical treatment abroad.

    But Kapeya insists the trip is all about getting investors interested in Zambia.

    "He has just gone there to woo some investors from that country. It’s a working holiday in fact,” he said. “We are a developing country so when the president travels out, he is there to market Zambia.”

    Kapeya says Zambia and Israel have had strong bilateral relations since the southern African country gained independence from former colonial power, Britain.

    "The friendship has been cordial since independence. In fact we are an agricultural related country and Israel is also in that line,” he said. “Since the first republic…we were having a lot of Israelis coming to Zambia to move us ahead in terms of pushing agriculture forward, and indeed Israel has been a friend to Zambia since independence.”

    But, opposition groups say Sata has no scheduled meetings with Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or outgoing Israeli President Shimon Perez.  They point out that Perez will be in the U.S. to meet President Barack Obama, during Sata’s visit.

    Kapeya maintains that Sata is fit and chaired a cabinet meeting shortly before making the trip to Israel.

    "He is on a working holiday in Israel. If he were sick, he wouldn’t have traveled,” said Kapeya. “In fact just last week Monday he chaired the usual cabinet meeting and before he left I was with him talking to him and we were always talking about developmental issues in the country.

    Citing security concerns, Kapeya declined to say how long Sata will be out of the country.  He chose Justice Minister, Wynter Kabimba to act as president during his absence.

    Clottey interview with Mwansa Kapeya, Zambia information minister
    Clottey interview with Mwansa Kapeya, Zambia information ministeri
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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meggy zimba from: lusaka
    June 27, 2014 1:32 PM
    Evry humanbeing created by God fall sick?let our almighty heal him in jesus name I pray amen,we love u our president!!!.

    by: olas mizi from: ndola
    June 27, 2014 3:31 AM
    The truth of the matter is that mr sata of late has not been feeling well and this is in a public domain.the zambian people know why mr sata is in hospital receiving treatment.

    by: musole DK from: mongu
    June 27, 2014 2:31 AM
    But why is the goverment doing this.? Anyway get well my president. Come back soon wagxer love you.

    by: Limnothrissa from: UK
    June 26, 2014 1:38 PM
    Since when is lying in a coma in an intensive care facility at a hospital called a "working vacation" ???

    What "work" is being done besides providing employment for Israeli nurses?

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