London: Zambians in the UK had a rare opportunity to interact with Zambia’s main opposition Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata. In his introduction text, Mr. Sata told a surprising small crowned that gathered in East London that:
“If we have to build Zambia we need all of you. I want you to know that as the leader of the most popular party and second biggest party in Zambia, I am quite mindful of you citizens living in the Diaspora.
“I am very grateful that you asked me to come and share with you on how we can build Zambia. We need you to be more organised, the PF government wants to know ‘who is who’ outside Zambia so that you can help build Zambia, without you we shall be going forward and backwards.
“I urge the Diaspora to turn Zambia into green pastures not run to the green pastures”.
Once in power, Mr. Sata promised the Zambians in the Diaspora that they will be allowed bring home “all your goods and the stuff in your garages tax free”
“If the Chinese and other foreigners can bring their goods in Zambia tax free, why should you Zambians denied the same right”?
Mr. Sata praised Zambians in the Diaspora for their unity.
“Here you do not look who comes from which tribe, but you consider yourself as Zambians when it suits you.
Mr. Sata disclosed that his government will forge close links to the United Kingdom its formal colonial master and start benefiting from its research and development.
He cited some of the problems facing Zambia today which include high and chronic unemployment, poor health, Zambia not benefit from its natural resources, misuse of government resources and corruption among government officials.
On corruption, Mr. Sata also questioned why the government had to buy land from a private company.
Mr. Sata condemned the public media in Zambia for being the mouth piece of the current government while praising the private media dotted around the country for filing in the gap.
On the question of whether he supports dual-nationality, Mr. Sata did not give clear black and white answer.
“When Zambia becomes a rich country, Zambians will be proud to be Zambians and not bother about the issue of dual nationality.
“Immediately you bring dual nationality, the first thing will be 15 million Chinese people to get dual nationality, because law is law, but once will bring pride, then the question of dual-nationality will be of secondary importance to you”.
Mr. Sata said that: “I am here in the UK because I have been invited to speak to students at Oxford University on how to organise and run a successful political party.”