CHIEFS in Mambwe district have advised the Patriotic Front leader, Michael Sata, to swallow his pride and apologise for comparing them and their subjects to animals.
The chiefs have also advised Mr Sata to apologise to President Banda.
Chief Jumbe said the Chipata-Mfuwe road which Mr Sata is referring to as being favored at the expense of other roads has been an issue since independence.
The chief said in an interview yesterday that it is unfortunate for someone who is aspiring to be a leader of the nation to utter such retrogressive remarks.
“Mr Sata should humble himself and swallow the words because traditional rulers who reside here where the road will be constructed are upset with him for comparing them to animals, it is unacceptable,” Chief Jumbe said.
He said the tarring of the Chipata-Mfuwe road which President Banda commissioned was an issue even in President Mwanawasa’s Government.
The traditional leader said what the incumbent President is doing is fulfilling President Levy Mwanawasa’s promise of giving the people of Mambwe a good road.
“The late President said the road will be constructed and that is what I can remember. It is very unfortunate that Mr Sata can go as far as calling us animals when there are chiefs here who have been crying for this road,” he said.
Chief Jumbe said the road being constructed is not for President Banda but for the people who live there.
He said it is important for the opposition leaders to give credit where it is due and not to criticise unnecessarily.
“The opposition leaders are there for checks and balances and not to issue baseless attacks where one is doing a commendable job,” Chief Jumbe said.
He said a good road is key to national development and that the construction of the road will help boost economic activities in Mambwe.
And Chief Mukanya described Mr Sata’s remarks as retrogressive to national development.
He said Mr Sata should know that thousands of people reside in Mambwe and not just animals.
The chief said the subjects will be scared of Mr Sata because his remarks are a clear indication that he does not regard them as people.
“We doubt if Mr Sata can remember us if he happens to be President of this nation because he does not respect people,” Chief Mukanya said.
He said the best thing the PF leader should do is to apologise.
“I wonder if Mr Sata knows this place where we live and what we go through just to reach our chiefdoms,” Chief Mukanya said.
But Mr Sata said he will only apologise when the Katete-Chadiza road is commissioned.
Mr Sata said many of the roads in Eastern province have not been worked on for many years and that it is only cardinal that Government shared the money equitably to benefit other roads.
“I am willing to apologise when they commission the Katete – Chadiza road because it connects many parts of the province and people living there want to see the road in a good state,” he said.
Mr Sata said in an interview yesterday that the people living along the Katete-Chadiza road have been complaining about the poor state of the road.
Apart from the chiefs, the MMD in Eastern Province has demanded an apology from Mr Sata for saying that President Banda has favoured the construction of the Chipata-Mfuwe road which leads to a game park where animals live at the expense of equal development of all provinces.
Zambia Daily Mail