United States ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella is winding up his stay in Zambia after two years of propping the PF regime. We hear he is going to Belgium.
To prepare his exit, he made himself available for an interview with Antony Mukwita, the playboy serving as PF deputy editor for the Daily Mail, a government broadsheet.
But even having seen for himself the kind of monster Sata is, Storella still told Mukwita that Sata is a hard-working leader who holds the needs of many ordinary Zambians close to his heart.
According to an article Muwkita published in the Daily PF, Storella also described President Sata as a man of action with a history of delivering and ability to turn around the fortunes of Zambians as long as fundamentals are in place. You got to love these ambassadors.
But, even in his zeal for Sata and the PF regime, Storrela could actually see that the PF is evil. He told Mukwita that Patriotic Front needs to exercise more tolerance, continue fostering unity and allow freedoms to be exercised by those with dissenting views.
“I think it is very important to understand and recognise that we (Zambia and PF) face some challenges,” Mr Storella said.
Mr Storella said facing the challenges is essential if the country is to remain a shining example of a budding democracy on the continent, which he noted Zambia is right now.
“Zambia is a great example of an African democracy right now, which many African countries look up to for various reasons such as smooth transitions of power and free elections,” Mr Storella said.
He was speaking in a special interview on various socio-economic and political scenarios as he completes his three-and-half-year as ambassador in Zambia.
Mr Storella, who has 30 years on his resume as a diplomat in various postings around the world, reflected on various issues, starting from the pre- and post-2011 polls won by Mr Sata to consumption subsidies recently removed by the government.
“Removing the subsidies [on fuel and maize] is one of the most courageous things the Sata administration did because only commercial farmers gained from that and not small-scale farmers they were meant for,” Mr Storella said.
Storella also cautions that all can be lost if free association and expression is stifled.
He also called for responsible criticism from those with dissenting views, including the media whom he said must be ethical and give both sides of the story in order to help grow democracy. We just hope Mukwita got this point.
How we miss ambassadors like Donald Booth, Carmen M. Martinez, Martin George Brennan and others starting form Robert C. Good who stood with the people of Zambia rather than their expoliters.
We just hope John Kerry will send us a friend of the people of Zambia.