|January 26, 2012
Zambia's Sata brands Tsvangirai as western puppet
The branding of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai 'as a Western stooge' by the new Zambian President Michael Sata has raised diplomatic eyebrows between the two countries. Political aides to Tsvangirai reacted with fury to Sata's disparaging remarks about the MDC leader, in his interview with the UK Telegraph newspaper. In the interview published by the paper, Sata, known as 'King cobra' for his sharp tongue, indicated that he would not block Robert Mugabe's push to abandon the unity government. In the same article, the 74 year-old Sata made comments likely to have irked pro-democracy movements in Zimbabwe. He first dismissed Tsvangirai as a 'stooge', and described calls for security, electoral and constitutional reforms in Zimbabwe as 'unnecessary'.
Analysts said it was incomprehensible that Sata could trivialise and denigrate constitutional reforms and clean voters' roll which were vital pre-conditions for free and fair elections. Other commentators believe Sata could be 'isolated from reality'. MDC-T officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity agreed that Sata seemed to go 'off the rails' in the Telegraph interview, admitting that he showed extremely poor judgment. 'We don't know the policies of Morgan - he has other people speaking for him rather than speaking for himself. There will be elections and Mugabe will go and someone else will take over but not someone imposed by the Western countries,' Sata said. "You people, the Western countries, you taught us that democracy is elections. Now somebody wants elections and you say no," he moreover stated. "There will be elections and Mugabe will go and someone else will take over but not someone imposed by the Western countries."
(SW Radio Africa)