‘King Cobra’ fumes

Sata has claimed that his arrest on charges of making a false declaration was a ploy to frustrate him in his quest to prepare the electorate for next elections.

“I’ll continue pounding him with huge crowds at my rallies because I can see that my rallies are now sending shivers in them. Mwanawasa has become scared but he will not succeed in using the police and the courts to silence me,” said Sata, 69, after police arrested and later released him on a US$500 police bond.

Police on December 5 arrested and charged Sata, 69, with making false declaration involving ZMK350 million (US$87, 5000) as being part of his assets when he filed nomination for presidency on August 11.

A former minister, in a petition dated August 21 and addressed to the Returning Officer and Zambia’s Chief Justice Ernest Sakala, claimed Sata had lied by stating that US$87, 500 was part of his assets arising from a court case, which he said was still in court pending determination.

President Levy Mwanawasa, commenting on the arrest, said Sata risked being penalised if he continued to undermine the ‘duly elected’ governing party and him.

Mwanawasa directed the police to stop issuing permits to hold rallies to PF and Sata if the statements uttered during rallies were deemed provocative and a threat to state security.

He said police were entitled to deny Sata permits because they were apprehensive that he would use it to incite people to rise against the government.

“He has been insulting me as President, he has committed treasonable acts and the police would have picked him but I pleaded with them not to. I told them to let him pull his own rope,” Mwanawasa told a rally in western Zambia.

“He has pulled his rope too far and I can’t roll it back anymore. If he continues to be stupid, someone will cry.”

Mwanawasa castigated the Attorney General Sunday Nkonde of overruling a directive to the police not to issue more permits to Sata. He challenged Nkonde to resign, a sentiment roundly condemned by a cross- section of political analysts.

Sata’s rallies were initially banned by police for undisclosed reasons. Nkonde, however, overturned the action after the Patriotic Front challenged the action in court.

Sata reiterated his resolve to seek the presidency. He urged Mwanawasa to ignore him and concentrate on improving the lives of Zambians, many wallowing in abject poverty.

“Let him just concentrate on making Zambia a better place for its people and not on Michael Sata. For me, the battle continues”

December 2006
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