Ailing dictator Michael Sata on Saturday abruptly ended his campaign rally after speaking in a low tone for about 20 minutes but managed to talk about his health.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister Winter Kabimba told voters that Nevers Mumba and Hakainde Hichilema are the ones telling people that Sata is sick.
A security source told the Watchdog later that Sata was unable to stand for a longer time to address the main rally at kapiri Mposhi main bus station and opted to end it abruptly due to fatigue and ill health but PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba said the president is very fit.
Sata, who was scheduled only to go to Ngabwe area for one meeting and then return to Kapiri central for the main rally at 16:00hrs changed the programme at the last minute by going to Lukanga first.
“We did not have Lukanga swamps in our detailing but his Excellency had to include it on his mission in the last minute so, it is difficult to organise his security,” said the source.
By 16:00hrs people were still waiting for Sata at Kapiri Main bus station, the venue for the rally as police officers and PF security thugs led by Judge Ngoma heavily patrolled the area. The President only arrived at the arena at about 17:00hrs and could not speak long, the whole meeting only lasted about 20 minutes to the amazement of eager listeners.
The rally was jovially opened by central province minister Philip Kosamu who is also campaign manager for PF candidate Eddie Musonda. Kosamu urged the people of Kapiri not to vote for the UPND candidate Lawrence Zimba as he had no capacity to perform.
Wynter Kabimba for his turn told the gathering that it was only Dr. Mumba and Hichilema who were spreading rumours that the President was sick. “I have decided to bring the President to you so that you can see him with your eyes, so when HH and Nevers come here tell them that they are liars,” said Kabimba.
When Kabimba called Sata to the podium, the expectant crowd was filled with joy as they expected the once very vocal leader to be at his best but were only addressed for less than 20 minutes. Sata who was accompanied by an Indian personal physician who was being driven in an ambulance Mitsubish Pajero registration number ABR 7868 on the convoy drescribed as insanity any insinuations that he was sick. ” Nshalwala iyo, ubushiku nkalwala nakanyelele kakeshiba (I am not sick, the day I will fall sick even an ant shall know),” said the head of state who spoke in a very low tone and was never in his once jovial mood of cracking jokes.
In his brief address, Sata apologised for the late coming saying they had toured many places and urged the people of Kapiri to vote for Musonda as he was the one who petitioned the election allegedly stolen by Zimba. “Mutweleleko mwebantu bakwa Lesa, twachiya kwa Ngabwe, elyo twaya mona neshamfumu nakwa Lyombe eicho ndemilomba ati muka votele uyu umwaice wandi Musonda pantu ewa sangile mo ububi mukuvotela ba Zimba elyo atwele nemilandu ku court awina, twayebele balya bambi ablefwaya ukwiminina ati awe teti tushe umwaiche wesu (Forgive us, people of God, we went to Ngabwe area, then saw the chief and went to Lyombe, I am requesting you to vote for my young brother Eddie Musonda as he is the one who succesfully petitioned Zimba’s fradulent election, that is why we could not pick these other people that had applied to stand on PF ticket),” said the President.
As he was speaking, he instructed Musonda to kneel down before the crowd to beg for votes but while Musonda was preparing to speak, with a microphone in his hand, the president told the gathering that the meeting was over and asked the candidate to lead in singing the national anthem.
The abrupt end surprised people and the candidate himself as he hoped to use the occassion to entice the voters in Kapiri central to vote for him.
And some members of the business community in Kapiri have described the head of state’s trip in Kapiri as ‘nothing but a business opportunity due to the large number of people that have been into Kapiri from as early as Monday’.
“To us it is nothing but we have more money in our pockets due to the influx of people who have been here as early as Monday,” said a middle aged man running a bar in town area.
Meanwhile a source has told the Zambian Watchdog that the Kapiri rally was supposed to be longer but the president’s fatigue and ill health could not allow. “Initially, this was supposed to be a bash but looks like the president is tired and unwell, as you may be aware he just returned from a very long trip in China and has not had enough rest, maybe we shall come back here just for Kapiri central area coz there is literaly nothing he has told people here” said the source.
The president’s enourage swas comprised of several cabinet ministers, district commissioners in central province and senior civil servants.