FIRST LADY Christine Kaseba Sata shares a light moment with her son Gerard as acting President Guy Scott and his wife Charlotte looks on
FILE: FIRST LADY Christine Kaseba Sata shares a light moment with her son Gerard as acting President Guy Scott and his wife Charlotte looks on

By Rev. Canon Dr. Kapya John Kaoma

The developments that surround Dr. Kaseba Sata’s accommodation are highly unsettling. In the nation where the majority lives on less than a dollar a day, I am shocked at the huge bill — K2, 246,547 and still counting—the careless PF. government paid to accommodate Dr. Kaseba at Number 8 Reedbuck.

I fully sympathize with Dr. Kaseba and her family on the death of President Sata—may his soul rest in peace and rise in glory. That said, I think the commentary on her housing situation is highly misplaced—it betrays the sense of reason. Dr. Kaseba and the late President Sata did not live at Plot 1 until the late 2011, hence the question, ‘What happened with their properties across Zambia?’

The UPND Member of Parliament Gary Nkombo’s question on why the PF. government was failing to take care of ‘former First Lady’ is cheap politics at its worst. Nkombo as an opposition leader should questioned the of wastage of public resources as opposed to encouraging it. In my book Raised Hopes, Shattered Dreams, for example, I argue that Zambia has already borrowed more money under the PF administration than the UNIP and the MMD reigns combined—something the World Bank has finally accepted. When the owners of the borrowed money start chasing us for their dollars, the poor will suffer the most. As for politicians, they will continue to lead their lavish lifestyles.

The housing of Dr. Kaseba at Number 8 Reedbuck is disgraceful and immoral. President Sata did not come to State House from Bauleni or Msisi compound! We also paid for the Satas’ expensive clothes, food, toilet issues, and even salt; we increase President Sata’s salary three times in less than three years. He also qualified to receive his pension. Well, I shouldn’t complain – it is perfectly legal—after all she is the former First Lady!

Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on Dr. Kaseba is an insult to millions who can hardly send their children to school or buy life-saving drugs for their sick children. As a nation, we need to stop robbing of public coffers or what I have termed ‘legalized stealing’—that is stealing through entitlements. When are we going to have the poor people’s President and First Lady, who will denounce this form of robbery on moral grounds? It is not long ago when former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa claimed her husband’s benefits and $1000 per month was nothing to her. But we all know that President Mwanawasa declared properties worth millions of dollars including farms and a multi-million dollar home in Kabulonga—well that money does not count!

It is unfortunate that we have accumulated so much debt; we can’t pay civil servants, pensioners and farmers on time; we can’t create new jobs; we can’t even provide medical care to all Zambians, yet we can spend millions on one individual! I admired Dr. Kaseba’s commitment to combating poverty among women and children (another reason I believed she would have been a better president), but her luxurious stay at Number 8 Reedbuck says much about her values and judgment.

Finally, politicians like Nkombo who see nothing wrong with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on one individual need their heads examined. Dr. Kaseba is not the only widow who needs accommodating – she is just among millions of widows in the nation and unlike President Sata, their husbands were unemployed or under employed. They equally need government support, which unfortunately they can’t get since in the heads of politicians like Nkombo, they do not need taking care of. Dr. Kaseba, please keep your integrity—you were not born in Plot One!

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Dont be surprised, we as citizens like to spend such huge sums of money on former first ladies. Infact, we want to give her more. We just dont know where she is living now? when we find out, we shall go and give her even the one dollars we are surviving on. Better she has it than my family. Kaili my children are not like gerard sata. mine are low life peasant children. they were born into this world to serve the likes of bena sata, mwanawasa, chiluba, lungu, kaunda etc. We are the new africans who complain but dont take our complaints serious because we still like to praise and give our money to madam kaseba and family. we dont want to change. My hands apa are itching to give her my last dollar as a contribution. infact, i would prefer it if the system stole it from me and gave her.

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    • The Rev Dr John Kaoma misses the point when he gets to Gary Nkombo. It is the PF Govt with the blessings of Edgar Lungu that decided to accommodate Dr.Kaseba at 8 Reedbuck. It is was and still the responsibility of the PF govt to take care of the Dr.Kaseba. Nkombo did not write the laws. Similar we know of people the PF have appointed to diplomatic postings that are being accommodated at Pamodzi. The PF is spending recklessly buying GXs for govt officials and the Reverend is fine with that. The issue of careless spending has to be addressed holistically. The issue of appointing cadres to Boards such as ZESCO needs to be addresses. Comedian Father Frank Bwalya was Chairman at ZESCO and now we have unprecedented load shading

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    • The Rev Dr John Kaoma misses the point when he brings in Garry Nkombo. What has the PF done to amend the ridiculous law that requires GRZ to look after out going presidents or their spouses? We know of people right now staying at Pamodzi at GRZ expense waiting to be deployed into foreign service. How I wish the Rev could also write such articles on PF reckless expenditure on a bloated cabinet, govt cars and foreign trips. What is the Rev’s comments on appointment of clueless PF cadres to heard Boards e.g that clowny Father Frank Bwalya at ZESCO?

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    • @?Obatala Anabwera why do you want other people to fight your battles. Make the point yourself or are verbally challenged!

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    • [email protected] No, you are the one who is wrong. Nkombo is a law maker and should be fighting to repeal such laws that lavish the Presidency at the expense of the poor majority. He does not seem to understand the needs of the people who sent to parliament.

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  2. Mmembe and HH have politicised the whole issue to embarass the government. Dr Kaseba the widow has lost the sympathy of right thinking ZAMBIANS by living in such luxury.
    Indeed where are the many houses of the late Mr Sata?

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    • And Sata was doing the same to embarras RB’s government. At one point Sata took RB’s wife’s payslip to the media for publication as she (Thandiye) was still receiving salary from the ministry of Edu despite of having stopped teachering after RB won presidential election.

      To make matters worse it is unwise to blame Nkombo on Kaseba insue. He brought the news to the attention of the public. Regina Chiluba is one of these enriching herself and extablishing business overseas. 26.02.15 news implicated her in 8m€ with her Fin business partner. Police invest.. Failure to pay tax while funding the local ice hockey.. What does Zam get out of this??

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  3. Totally agree, well written and full of facts. Can’t agree more. What does the righteous chitole Fred Mmembe saying about this extravagance? It is obvious he won’t say or condemn the expenditure because Kaseba like Sata is one of his pathetic selfish gold diggers. This woman does not mean well. Her actions have shown us who this Kaseba is. The stupid piece of legislation regarding building houses for former presidents and their families should be discarded altogether as Zambia will never afford it, and it is retrogressive to say the least.

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    • Mmembe can’t say anything because he is the engineer of all that’s happening. Haven’t you heard that he is the one who even authored the eviction letter that was to be given to Kaseba?

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    • [email protected] you are right. His paper is full of articles about this and that one condemning EL Presidente on govt borrowing, corruption, excessive travelling and what have you but sees nothing wrong about this reckless spending of scarce resources.

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    • this behaviour is just like the Shaka movies were innocent villagers were killed and buried with the dead chief to honour the dead chief.

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  4. THE MENTION OF NKOMBO IS A MOKERY IN THIS STORY BECAUSE NKOMBO HAS NO UPPER HAND ON KASEBA. THE WORSHIPFUL LEADERS ARE PF WHO CAN NOT SEE WHERE AND WHY ALL THIS WORST.

    TOO MANY DEBTS THEY KNOW, THEY WANT TO MAKE ZAMBIA INTO A NIGHTMARE FOR THEIR PERSONAL GAIN. HOW MUCH MONEY WAS FOUND IN LATE NSANDA’S HOUSE?

    BAKAPALA BALISHI UMWAKWIBILA. DR. KASEBA IS WISE AND THAT IS WHY SHE DECIDED TO GO AND STAY IN KABWATA BECAUSE SHE NEW THAT SOMEONE WAS EATING A MASUKU ON HER. KASEBA HAS NEVER RECEIVED THIS CASH BUT IT IS THE PF GUYS WHO HAVE HAMMERED THE FUNDS

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  5. The best Nkombo can now do is to initiate debate in parliament to change these retrograsive laws. Pension should be given to former presidents and be stopped when they die and not extended to their wives. This will make presidents plan for their families in advance. Do Civil Servants wives get pension too?

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  6. The Rev Dr John Kaoma misses the point when he brings in Garry Nkombo. What has the PF done to amend the ridiculous law that requires GRZ to look after out going presidents or their spouses? We know of people right now staying at Pamodzi at GRZ expense waiting to be deployed into foreign service. How I wish the Rev could also write such articles on PF reckless expenditure on a bloated cabinet, govt cars and foreign trips. What is the Rev’s comments on appointment of clueless PF cadres to heard Boards e.g that clowny Father Frank Bwalya at ZESCO?

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  7. Until the day comes when Zambia has leadership that feels the suffering and hunger of the pipo, leadership that feels embarrassed at stealing for self enrichment from the mouths of the hunger stricken, until that day development of our nation will remain but a fleeting illusion to dreamed but never attained.

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  8. Everybody including Kapya are missing the point. GRZ went all the way to apologize to Christine because they owe her that.
    The real problem is with us as a citizenry. When are we going to stand up & fight for our country. For as long as we expect someone to do our shitty work politicians will continue taking us for *****s.
    ECL is raping the constitution to go for his 5 year term & how many of us are standing up to stop this nonsense.
    ABC wants to continue borrowing but who is checking his expenditure.
    As Zagaze has said we can as well give them our two arms & both eyes.

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  9. The continued stay of the former president at the very expensive lodge is unsustainable to the country and economy at large. while we sympathize with Mr Sata s widow and we also note with great concern that she choose to go and live at her mothers house after the alleged eviction. Its public knowledge that the Sata’s as a family do have their own suitable accommodation earned legally . she choose to score a rather cheap political score. Other wise its daylight robbery that the government should be paying such astronomical sums for accommodation.

    If she is humble enough to stay at her poor mothers house in Chilenje , she should appreciate cheaper alternatives offered by government in such places as Kabulonga which are way superior to the chilenje lodging and less costly to the…

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  10. That is the point.! Its a shame to be Zambian. How on earth our country is a mess by politicians wanting to win support at expense of National Development. Disgusting.!

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  11. If kaseba desperately needs a house why cant they give her presidential house in kitwe as transit house. Problem bonse ba fya apali akalilo.

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  12. Lazy bums, why make laws that you are not willing to obey?!

    Just as much as it is wasteful to spend all that money on Kaseba’s accommodation, she is entitled to GRZ accommodation pursuant to the law. But that law is not written in blood and can be varied by parliament.

    Therefore, the biggest problem here is the serious lack of planning on the part of GRZ. Perhaps the PF’s slowness in finding accommodation for her is due to not finding a user-friendly cadre who could provide sufficient kick-backs!

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  13. Well written and pronounced items. Full of facts. Give us another one young person. Ciza uli?

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  14. The rev.just read what Gary said in paper but not wht he mearnt.he questioned pf govt neglect of the Dr kaseba ,and didnt encouraged govt to continue paying 8 reedbuck.govt wud hav found a cheap hse of less than k10.000 per month for her .in short a modest hse.

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