PRESIDENT Michael Sata is undergoing treatment at India's Samved Hospital.
According to India's DeshGujarat News, President Sata landed at Ahmedabad's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on Thursday at around 22:00 hours for medical treatment at the hospital situated in Navrangpura area.
DeshGujarat reported that the hospital mainly dealt with patients of prostate, kidney stone and bladder surgery.
President Sata is accompanied by first lady Dr Christine Kaseba and press aide George Chellah.
Security at Taj Gateway Hotel near the Ahmedabad airport where he staying has been tightened.
And Wynter Kabimba says UPND members of parliament and their president Hakainde Hichilema have been wishing President Sata dead from the time they negotiated their way into the pact with the PF.
Commenting on UPND members jubilating over President Sata's health condition and his trip to India, Kabimba wondered how long it would take for the UPND to realise that banking on the President's death for them to ascend to power was a wish in futility.
He said even if the PF was to go for a campaign under a different leader, UPND would not win because the people of Zambia would not entrust their lives into their hands.
"I don't know how long it should take for UPND to learn a lesson, that that kind of campaign in a Christian nation like Zambia just alienates voters from you. It is not a political issue; it is a sentimental and emotional issue for those people that love Sata. I don't know how it can grant them UPND any mileage if they were experienced politicians. That wish is a wish in futility," Kabimba said.
Kabimba said Hichilema during the campaigns last year went round telling people that President Sata would not last the campaign period but to his disappointment, he went on to win the election.
"Mr Hichilema is the healthiest human being on earth; he has never suffered from any disease. He is somebody who is mortal, that's how he portrays himself and that's what he wants the people of Zambia to believe in order to confer power on him. For the UPND to bank the success of UPND on Michael Sata's death, will not take them anywhere. Let them plan the way we did it, that's how you win an election and not by wishing another person dead," said Kabimba.
Well-placed sources said there was excitement in the UPND following President Sata's trip to India because they believe the President was unwell.
"We warned the people of Zambia that President Sata was not fit and unwell and will not complete his term of office. He's a sick man whose return we doubt because the operation he's undergoing is serious and chances of survival are fifty-fifty. Most of our members are happy because this gives us an opportunity to lead the country," one UPND senior member said.
Some of the members said President Sata should not have contested the September 20 elections because he knew his health was failing.
And UPND Southern Province vice-chairman John Chidyaka said President Sata's trip to India left room for speculation.
He said it was wrong for the President to leave the country without telling the nation what he had gone to do and how long he would be there.
"We need to know so that we know whether he's gone to bring investors or what. Going secretly will make people think otherwise and some will start preparing for elections because we are told he's unwell and anything can happen. When one travels, people can pray for you otherwise people may start preparations. Why go in secrecy?" he asked.
Chidyaka said people of Zambia needed to know what the President had gone to do in India.
And Felix Mutati yesterday said it was "unpleasant" to bring politics into the perceived ill-health of President Sata.
Mutati, also leader of the opposition in Parliament, said whatever speculations were taking place, people should rise above pettiness of wishing anybody ill.
He said whatever the case regarding President Sata's private visit to India, all Zambians should send a message of good will.
"He is not the first President that may have gone out of the country for medical treatment and I think there must be national maturity and avoidance of pettiness. All of us as human beings we get into unfortunate situations. Let's not celebrate another person's misfortune," Mutati told journalists during a press briefing at the National Assembly yesterday.
"What we must do is pray for his quick recovery from the national perspective and as leader of opposition. I think that's what is fundamentally important. Let's not bring politics to play in an issue that deals with health. I think that's unpleasant."
And MMD deputy national secretary Chembe Nyangu says the government should give full details whenever President Sata traveled out of the country.
Nyangu said when President Sata was an opposition leader, he also criticised heads of state whenever they travelled out of the country unannounced.
"We don't want to rejoice in one being sick; he is our President. But we deserve to know where he goes because is our President. For the purpose of information for the Zambians to know where their President is, that man is not a common man; he's no longer a cadre or what, he's a Republican President," Nyangu said.
"For us we don't wish him bad, what we want is just to know that our President is not okay, he's gone for medication. And if you recall very well the same President said there will be no Zambian going abroad for treatment; nobody will go for treatment, they'll be treated here in Zambia."
Nyangu said his message was meant to remind President Sata of what he said when in opposition.
"It's just a reminder that Mr President you said this, Zambians have not forgotten. You criticised ba Mwanawasa, again you criticised ba Rupiah, but what are you doing? Are you correcting the wrongs which your predecessors were doing? That's what we are saying. Well, he's privileged he's the President he can go out, but why not stick to what he said because people are doubting him to say is this the man of action, the man of truth? Is this the man we voted for? But here is the man who said nobody will go abroad for treatment; he sneaks out into India to go and get treatment."
Nyangu however constantly said he wished President Sata good health and success during his tenure.
He said Zambians would continue to demand full information about President Sata for as long as he remained their leader.
And Lusaka Province youth secretary Mulenga Kayula said the UPND was a silly party that thrived on misfortune.
In a walk-in interview, Kayula said it was ridiculous for UPND to think that they would ascend to power through other people's misfortunes.
"The best way to describe their behaviour is absurd. It's ridiculous to think that one will ascend to power through other people's misfortunes and UPND is known for its failed marriages of conveniences. They have realised that they will never have chance to form government now so they hope President Sata would die and we go for a by-election. It will never happen. They should stop forthwith their foolish behaviour of thinking that they will rule through other people's misfortunes," said Kayula.
He advised the UPND to concentrate on reviving their dwindling political relevance in the country.
He warned that next time they will not tolerate UPND's silly behaviour because they were alarming the nation.
"The next time they do this, we are going to march to their offices and we are going to take them head-on. We are not going to condone such kind of behavior. This is nonsense," he said.
In a separate interview, MMD Copperbelt information and publicity secretary Yotam Mtayachalo said UPND should find a civil way of disagreeing with the PF government instead of wishing the President death.
He said even if they had a good working relationship with the UPND, it was unAfrican and a taboo for them to jubilate over a person's perceived ill-health.
He said politicians should engage in issues that would uplift the lives of the majority suffering Zambians.
"Today you will be celebrating your friend's illness, tomorrow it will be you. It must not be an eye for an eye and this kind of politics in Zambia must come to an end. We must elevate our politics to a much higher level. To those people that are celebrating over the illness, it's totally unacceptable and sending a very wrong signal on the people of Zambia because honestly how can people trust you if you are celebrating other people's illnesses?" he asked.
"When Mr (Anderson) Mazoka was ill, politicians were celebrating. When (Levy) Mwanawasa was ill again politicians were celebrating. Now President Sata is unwell again people are celebrating," he said.
Mtayachalo said people of Zambia still want President Sata to continue ruling so that he fulfils his political promises.
On Thursday morning, President Sata left on an unannounced trip to India.
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