By XAVIER MANCHISHI –
LUSAKA Mayor, Mulenga Sata says he is shocked with the statement attributed to Vice-President Guy Scott that he (Mulenga) does not qualify to contest the Republican Presidency.
Mr Sata who is President Michael Sata’s son said he found the statement attributed to Dr Scott as inappropriate and incorrect.
Dr Scott was quoted yesterday as saying he, Mulenga and Kabwata Member of Parliament (MP) Given Lubinda did not qualify to stand as President under the current Constitution, which also barred Dr Kenneth Kaunda in 1996 because of the parentage clause.
“I find the remarks attributed to the Vice-President inappropriate, divisive and factually incorrect. The circumstances of my birth are completely different from his. My mother was born on the Copperbelt province of Northern Rhodesia which later came to be known as Zambia.
“That makes her Zambian by birth and descent since Zambia was born in 1964. My father is Zambian. Dr Scott’s parents were British on the other hand. I cannot comment on others mentioned in the article,” he said.
Mr Sata said in an interview from Incheon, South Korea that the(Supreme) court
ruling on late former President Frederick Chiluba had put the issue of parentage to rest.
“As far as I’m aware, there is a ruling on former president Chiluba’s parentage which indicated that since he was born in a territory which later came to be defined as Zambia of parents’ similarly born, he was a Zambian who was eligible to stand for the highest office in the land,” he said.
Mr Sata said as a patriotic nationalist himself, he remained committed to the development of the country and the social uplifting of the people, particularly women and youth that constitute the majority of Zambia’s population.
“What we want is leadership that fosters unity in the country across ethnic and religious divides, that resonates with the hope of our young people and, most importantly, enables us to participate substantially and substantively in the economy.
“Those are the things we should be talking about, not idle chatter just because the substantive President is out of the office for a few days,” he added.
On whether he had intentions of vying for the presidency, Mr Sata said though contesting the presidency was something he had not given a thought yet, it was still his democratic right to do so.
“It’s not something I have given a thought to, but you must understand that it is my democratic right if I am asked to contest. My immediate target is to ensure I am a good Mayor of the City of Lusaka,” he said.
Mr Sata said since 2001 when he filed his nomination as parliamentary candidate for Kabwata, the question of whether he was interested in standing as President someday is one he has encountered several times.
He said having been around the presidency since his father won the 2011 general elections, he had observed that the position was very challenging and that at present it was not something he was thinking about.
The Lusaka Mayor also lashed out speculation that he had travelled to Israel to be with President Sata on his working holiday.
He said his trip to South Korea was sanctioned by Cabinet Office two months ago with a Kenyan Airways itinerary from Lusaka to Nairobi and Korea without deviations to Israel or anywhere else.
“It is un-African to expect me not to see my family members. There is nothing wrong with me dropping by to see my father or any of my family members if I had wanted. It is my obligation to see my family members anytime I want, but this time I came straight to Korea without any deviations,” he said.