Former Presidential Assistant for Project Monitoring and Implementation, Jack Kalala, has condmned sentiments attributed to a senior ZANU-PF official, Patrick Chinamasa, on the death of late President Levy Mwanawasa.
In his writeup titled: Those with eyes, let them ‘eye’, Chinamasa claimed that Mwanawasa, as Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chair, became hostile and was working with then British prime minister Tony Blair and others in the region to push for regime change in Zimbabwe.
Mwanawasa died on August 19, 2008 in France after suddenly falling sick under unclear and suspicious circumstances while attending the AU Summit in Sharm El Sheik Tourist Resort City in Egypt.
During a media briefing in Lusaka on Sunday, Kalala who served in Mwanawasa’s administration said Chinamasa volunteered to tell the entire world that his country, Zimbabwe, caused the untimely death of the late president in 2008.
He said, as if that was not enough, Chinamasa sternly warned President Hakainde Hichilema that he too could die in the same way.
“Our understanding of Chinamasa’s assertions is that Zimbabwe had a hand in the death of Mwanawasa and, therefore, has become a national security threat to Zambia and its President,” Kalala said.
He said Chinamasa was no ordinary citizen in Zimbabwe because he was a senior official in the governing party, ZANU-PF, in the country and this showed that he was speaking from an informed position.
Kalala said Chinamasa’s allegation that Mwanawasa had agreed to host a detachment of the British Military in the plot to topple the government of late President Robert Mugabe was patently false and absolutely malicious.
“There is evidence from reputable sections of the British and South African press that it was in fact South Africa under President Thabo Mbeki which had been requested to offer such support,” he said.
Kalala wondered why Chinamasa had not pointed his accusing finger at South Africa but had chosen to direct his anger against Zambia.
“As for the warning to Hichilema, we consider it misguided, appalling and provocative because the SADC Secretariat is the appropriate organ to receive complaints or blame on the Election Observers Mission Report since Zambia was not responsible for the report but SADC,” he said.
He said the threat on the life of Hichilema was a national security issue and should therefore not be taken lightly, in view of the deliberate reference made to President Mwanawasa’s death as an example.
Kalala advised Hichilema to avoid attending any regional meetings being held in Zimbabwe because it was not safe for him after the threats from Chinamasa.
“In the interest of regional peace, stability and harmonious coexistence, it is our considered view that the highest organ of SADC should take up and deal with Chinamasa’s unjustified and unwarranted provocations,” he said
Kalala is dismayed and outraged that the brothers and sisters for whom Zambia sacrificed so much should repay the country with ingratitude and animosity on baseless and fabricated allegations.
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