Mud-slinging in Zambian politics has entered a new turf with politicians challenging each other to publicly reveal their health conditions.
Outspoken opposition leader of Patriotic Front (PF) Michael Sata has challenged Vice President George Kunda and President Rupiah Banda to go for AIDS tests and publicize the medical test results.
According media reports today, Sata is even prepared to foot the bill.
“I am challenging comrade Rupiah Banda and comrade George Kunda (Vice President) for us to go for specific tests of three conditions: (1) heart condition, (2) HIV/AIDS and three Caposi Sacoma,” Sata said.
“And I will bear the costs of the test whether they will be done in Zambia or not” he is quoted saying.
Sata said those in government should not be angry when citizens demanded to know the health status of their leaders.
He said it was sad to see how angry Kunda got when the nation was merely asking to know more about his medical trip to South Africa.
Media reports have revealed that Kunda returned to Zambia on Saturday from South Africa for a three week medical review and claimed that the trip had been politicized.
Kunda, according to reports, claimed “that he knew a lot about his (Sata) health” although he avoided talking about it. Although Sata said it was well known fact that he suffered a heart attack in the past.
He is quoted saying “I have nothing to hide about my health. It is George who has everything to hide about his health
“On 24th April, 2008 I suffered a heart attack that saw me go to Milpak Hospital. Since that time, I have four times gone for HIV tests and have been found negative” said Sata.
The health issue has forced Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) to intervene urging politicians to desist from politicising personal health matters.
“ZMA considers individual medical issues as a serious matter which should not be politicised or discussed in public,” the association warned.
The church in Zambia, however, says Sata should be the last person to politicise the recent medical check-up Kunda underwent in South Africa because he has allegedly more serious health complications himself.