Sata Answers Zimbabwean Critics

Sata reportedly chanted Zanu (PF) slogans during last Friday’s Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit that tackled the political situation in Zimbabwe.

He chided Mugabe’s inclusive government partners for not taking part in the liberation war much to the chagrin of democracy activists in Zimbabwe.

The activists argue that Sata cannot be an honest broker in the political dispute given his admiration for the ageing Zimbabwean leader.

But Zambian Foreign Affairs and Tourism minister, Given Lubinda, on Wednesday said the former opposition leader remained committed to resolving the problems in Zimbabwe.

He told the Times of Zambia that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora “wishing to see an end to the problems in their country to go back home and participate in various processes aimed at bringing harmony.”

“He said the problem was not in London or Lusaka and advised Zimbabweans to go back home to participate in the constitution making process,” the paper said.

“The minister said the people planning the protests were better informed that Zambia contributed to the liberation of Zimbabwe.”

Lubinda said Zambia did not have the luxury to choose its neighbours.

“Our being Siamese twins means we cannot wish away Zimbabwe just like that,” he said. “Zambians died not for their own sake but to liberate Zimbabweans. If Zimbabweans are despondent with Zanu (PF) that despondency should be redressed from within Zimbabwe.”

Sata is in London to address the Commonwealth Economic Forum.

In April he angered Mugabe’s opponents when he chanted Zanu (PF) slogans during the official opening of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.

His predecessors, the late Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda, became popular with Zimbabweans for their insistence that Mugabe must reform.