The opposition UPND has charged that the booing suffered by President Michael Sata at the Africa Union youth summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is bad for Zambia’s international image.
President Sata was on Friday booed at the AU meeting when he addressed youths attending the event after he spontaneously broke into uncoordinated commentary.
UPND Vice President Canisius Banda said it was not Michael Sata that was booed. It was Zambia.
Dr Banda added, “It was us as a people that were booed! Sata is our mirror.”
He said the Addis Ababa fiasco is a reminder of the country’s need to urgently change and seriously improve its image.
Dr Banda continued, “The booing of our head of state by non-Zambians is vital feedback for which we ought to be grateful. The message is that Zambia in its current state is offensive to the rest of Africa.”
Some journalists covering the summit expressed shock with President Sata’s behaviour especially that he kept referring to the AU as the OAU.
Malawian Journalists Idriss Ali Nassah tweeted that the Zambian leader had no sense of occasion as his superstitious phobia for bald headed men prompted the booing.
President Sata is said to have commented: “While talking about disability, don’t forget about the people without hair on their heads,” he said as all other presidents attending the meeting looked down in shame considering that people like South Africa leader Jacob Zuma is spotting a bald head at the meeting.
“In Zambia we don’t discriminate. Dr Kaunda once appointed a blind person into his cabinet a long time ago.”
And in opposing the proposal for Africa to have one passport, President Sata touched on the bald-heads again and the audience instantly booed him.
“You are booing me, and with that attitude that’s why your leaders don’t listen to you.
“You can boo all you want but Zambia is saying the AU has no control over us. We make our own laws so no to this one African passport.”
President Sata also sharply opposed regulations of the International Criminal Court to which Zambia is a party saying the west should “try their relatives whose jurisdiction are they under.
“If you find a Kenyan President or Zambia President is at fault, let the Kenyan or Zambian people deal with him not The Hague.”
During another session, President Sata was growing impatient with the delay in a meeting and again blew the top.
“I don’t know why I’m here wasting taxpayers money when in Zambia the people want water, education, health and police.”