THE Government is pursing the matter in which the New York Times newspaper is said to have reported that President Michael Sata had died in that city where he went to attend the 69th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba said in Parliament yesterday that his ministry through Zambia’s permanent representative in New York was pursing the media house to find out where it got the information from.
“The ministry through the permanent representative in New York has written to our colleagues in that country as to where they got the information from,” Mr Kalaba said.
Mr Kalaba said this in a follow-up question in which United Party for National Development (UPND) Katombora Member of Parliament (MP) Derrick Livune asked what measures the Government was taking against the New York Times for misinforming the world that President Sata had died.
The follow-up question arose after Mr Kalaba gave a ministerial statement to explain what transpired at the UN General Assembly where President Sata is alleged to have failed to deliver his speech during the meeting and was later reported to have died.
The ministerial statement was issued following the point of order raised by MMD Chadiza MP Allan Mbewe on Friday, who wanted to know what transpired.
UPND Mazabuka Central MP Garry Nkombo also asked the minister to clarify the reports as they had raised alarm in the nation.
Mr Kalaba in his response told the House that Vice-President Guy Scott had adequately addressed the matter and that his duty was merely to execute the directive by the President to deliver the speech on his behalf.
Agenda for Democracy and Development (ADD) Luena MP Gertrude Imenda questioned why the President travelled all the way to New York only to delegate Mr Kalaba to deliver the speech and not give those instructions from Zambia.
Mr Kalaba said it was the prerogative of the President to delegate whoever he desired to execute duties on his behalf.
In the ministerial statement, Mr Kalaba said the Zambian delegation attended to several high-level meetings which highlighted various issues that were of concern to the country.
“The statement I delegated on behalf of President Sata conveyed Zambia’s concern over the growing threat of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, which Zambia is concerned that unless efforts are undertaken to contain the disease now, the exponential effect of its spread may be difficult to contain later,” he said.