Green Party President Peter Sinkamba has said that the late Republican President Levy Mwanawasa had nothing to do with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) on the approval process for the construction of the Zambezi Sun Hotel and the Royal Zambezi because the two hotels were constructed and opened before he was elected as President of Zambia. Mr. Sinkamba said the two hotels were opened in 2001 before the elections were held and approval and construction were done in the late 1990s when Mwanawasa was neither in Government or had anything to do with ZEMA.
“You will recall that the late Mwanawasa was Vice President from 2001 to 2004 when he resigned from the Chiluba Government. He went to practice law from 1994 up to 27 December, 2001 when he won elections. Between 1994 and 2001, he had nothing to do with the Chiluba Government and ZEMA. Specifically, he had nothing to do with the approval and construction of neither the Zambezi Sun Hotel nor the Royal Zambezi.
“This being the case, it is immoral for Honorable Harry Kalaba to tell a lie and accuse a dead person premised on falsehoods. It is wrong to make political gains by falsely accusing a dead person who is not there to defend himself or herself. More so, it is immoral to dent or malign the character of a former Head of State by spreading falsehoods.
“Of course President Mwanawasa was not a saint. He made his own mistakes as President of Zambia. If one points at factual examples of mistakes, that is one thing. But to generate lies, and use the lies to dent the integrity of a dead person is inexcusable mischief which Honorable Kalaba needs to apologize about. If he is honorable enough, he has no option but apologize not only to the Mwanawasa family but the people of Zambia at large. An insult to the sitting president or former president is an insult to all of us the Zambian people.
“As an environmentalist I was personally involved in the environmental impact assessments for most large scale projects in Livingstone. The only large scale project involving the Mwanawasa government was the proposed construction of a five star hotel and golf course by Legacy Holdings in the Livingstone Game Park. This was in 2006. If allowed to proceed, the hotel and golf course would have occupied a significant portion of the game park including blocking the route for elephants when they migrate from Zimbabwe to Zambia and going to Botswana.
“Whilst Zambia Wildlife Authority and the local community, including the local chiefs were in support of the project , we the environmentalists objected. ZEMA conducted a public hearing of the EIA, and at the end of objected to the construction of the hotel and the golf course. President Mwanawasa never ever overruled ZEMA on the objection and that is how the idea of construction of the five star hotel and golf in Livingstone Game Park failed to materialize. If you want you can google this information and my name will pop up on the environmentalists that objected. Mwanawasa name will not appear anywhere either for or against the project. This is the factual position.
“Honorable Kalaba should therefore just admit he made a mistake on the Lower Zambezi Game Park saga and apologize to the nation than defend himself premised on falsehoods tainting the integrity of deceased persons. That is cheap, petty politics that we, who aspire for the highest office should never entertain,” Mr. Sinkamba said.