Zuma blasts Sata over M’membe’s insults
South African president Jacob Zuma Friday morning allegedly phoned and blasted President Michael Sata over the insults his allies at the Post newspaper published against the South African leader.
President Michael Sata’s government has bugged embassies in Lusaka and on Thursday, the Zambian intelligence gave Sata pictures said to be of former president Rupiah Banda entering the South African High Commission incognito.
But the Post lied that they were given a tip and positioned their reporter at the High Commission. The truth is that it was the Zambia Intelligence operation and photos were given to Fred M’membe by Sata himself.
According to the the Post all the members of staff at the High Commissioner were cleared and told to go home. But strangely, the secuirty at the gate whom one would esxpect to carry out such an assignenment were the ones giving ionformation the Post and identifying Rupiah Banda?
Acting on those photos, M’membe wrote an editorial insulting president Zuma accusing him of being corrupt and running a murderous government.
‘President Zuma immediately phoned Sata and really breathed on him’, a State House source told the Watchdog.
President Zuma is also said to have told Sata not to mess the relationship Zambia and South Africa have enjoyed since time immemorial by hiring people to insult South African leaders.
President Zuma also told Sata that he would also call former president Kenneth Kaunda to complain.
Two weeks ago, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan also phoned and blasted Sata for insinuating the Nigerian government was ‘cutting’ corrupt oil deals with Mr. Rupiah Banda.
And the Watchdog is reliably informed that president Sata has been isolated in Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Other leaders who are said to be giving solidarity to former president Rupiah Banda are Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola, Kakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and the Kenyan leaders. It is believed that the Angolan leader through his party donated some campaign material to the MMD during the 2011 elections and are ready to testify if that matter goes to court.
The president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete is also said to be sad at what is going on in Zambia and has been comforting Mr Rupiah Banda whom he respects very much.
The Kenyans too are not happy and the former president Mwai Kibaki is a personal friend of Mr Banda and the new leader of Kenya Uhuru Kenyata is an ally of Kibaki. The Kenyan are still upset that president Sata through the Post newspaper published lies that Henry Banda was hiding at State House in Nairobi.
It is believed that even Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has been advised to stay away from Sata. It is rumoured that it was the Angolan leader Dos Santos who had a ‘veterans’ talk with Mugabe and convinced him that his friendship with Sata may cost his support in SADC.
Mugabe is the only president who has ever come to Zambia from the time Sata was sworn in as president of Zambia.
To the east, Sata has also lost the support of Joyce Banda. A few months ago, President Joyce Banda was supposed to travel to Zambia and officiate at the Agriculture and Commercial Show in Lusaka. She snubbed the event at the last minute. She was supposed to fly into Lusaka from the United Arab Emirates where she had gone for other engagements.
Zambian officials were at the airport to welcome her but she just flew over and not excuse was given. Later ZNBC run news that she would come to Zambia later. She has not.
Sata also appears to have failed to win the support of western countries except one.
When former president Fredrick Chiluba was arrested for ‘pick pocketing’, almost all western diplomats publicly welcomed the arrest. But from the time Rupiah Banda was arrested, no diplomat has commented. Instead what we hear are murmurs of disapproval. In fact Rupiah Banda is working with the USA through former USA leader Jim Carter.
What is strange in all this is that president Sata is losing international support to pursue Fred M’membe’s agenda.