Opposition United Party for National Development second vice president Dr Canisius Banda says the booing of President Michael Sata at the African Union underscores the desperate need for Zambia to change its image.
Dr Banda said the public display of disapproval was evidence that Zambia in its current state is offensive to Africa.
“On the African Union fiasco it was NOT Michael Sata that was booed,” he said.
“It was Zambia, us as a people! He is our mirror, a reminder of our need to urgently change, to seriously improve our image.”
He added: “The booing of our head of state by non-Zambians is vital feedback for which we ought to be grateful! The message is that Zambia in its current state is offensive to the rest of Africa!”
The incident in question occurred on Friday May 24 in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia, where President Michael Sata engaged in a hostile exchange with the audience, behaving erratically with jokes and mocking other ‘bald-headed’ heads of state, and mistaking the African Union with Organisation for African Unity (OAU), the precursor institution which is now extinct.
The Patriotic Front (PF) government of Zambia has had a number of conflicts with other nations, including a gaffe by Vice President Guy Scott against the people of South Africa. President Sata has drawn boos from crowds during his public appearances in the past as well, including at the Lusaka fairgrounds.