President of the National Restoration Party Elias Chipimo has appealed to President Michael Sata to consider going on medical leave to help him recuperate.
Mr Chipimo said President Sata needs some time away from the pressures of State House to allow him get back his normal health.
He said latest pictures from State House confirm that President Sata is not enjoying the best of his health hence the need to take some time off to rest and heal.
Mr Chipimo was speaking Sunday morning when he featured on a live Tikambilane radio programme on Joy FM.
“As NAREP, we are saying this without any malice. We would like to see the President back to his best healthwise and this is why we are suggesting that he takes some time off to fully rest and recover,” Mr Chipimo said.
He added that the constitution provides for the Head of State to momentarily vacate office and appint someone else to act in his absence.
“Mr Sata could use these same provisions in the constitution and apply for leave. Let him appoint someone from his cabinet to start discharging the full functions of the Office of the President until such a time when he is fully fit to work. The stress of that office is also not helping his health,” he said.
He said, “The Acting President could be given some hand over notes of the priority areas or issues that he really wants to work on. Even these delays in swearing in officials would be dealt with and Government will continue functioning as the President recuperates.”
Mr Chipimo also lashed out some Government and PF party officials for suggesting that discussing the health of the President could land people in trouble with the law.
“I find that kind of a statement unfortunate and the people making such statements really need to get their heads examined. There is nothing criminal about a citizen demanding to know the whereabouts of a President who has not been seen or heard in public for close to a month,” he said.
He added, “Every household in Zambia discusses the health of the President at least once each week especially if they have not seen or heard him in public. You cannot arrest everyone who talks about the President. Everybody falls ill and there is nothing different about President Sata except the nature of the office he occupies.”