CHIEF Government spokesperson Chushi Kasanda says government was not invited to late president Micheal Sata’s memorial service.

But PF has argued that government is not being truthful.

In an interview, Kasanda said when she inquired about why government was not invited to the ceremony, the response was that “we thought you wouldn’t come”.

“We did not receive any invitation sadly enough. Especially even myself who knew Mr Sata personally because he was my dad’s close friend, I did not even receive an invitation. And when asked they said ‘we thought maybe you may not come’. But try somebody and see if they fail to come,” said Kasanda.

But PF deputy national chairperson Davies Chama said government was not being truthful.

“They are not telling the truth; they don’t know what they are doing running government. Sata was the president of the Republic of Zambia, President Hakainde went to lay wreaths on the former president, how did he go there? He went there because he is now the Head of State. Was he invited to go and lay wreaths? But conveniently he chose another date to go and lay wreaths because he knew the memorial was coming, it was a strategy, we can see through all these things. We have been in this game for a long time. And he went and attended the memorial for the former UPND president Mr Anderson Mazoka,” Chama said.

“The former presidents that have passed, president Chiluba, president Mwanawasa, president Sata, they were State presidents, they were not party presidents. They are just trying to find a scapegoat. They are not sincere in what they do, they are full of deception. Even on issues of memorials they want to be deceptive. What type of people are they? They should not trivialize all these national matters.”

He argued that government was required to take responsibility for all former presidents that had passed on.

“President Hichilema is a national asset now, so the State will take up responsibility for him in the future. When you become Head of State, you become State property and whatever happens, even funerals of State presidents, it is the State that takes responsibility for all the presidents that have passed on whether in office or out of office. So, they should just be sincere and be honest. If they are not aware of such issues, they should contact Cabinet office. But if they are intimidating Cabinet office that ‘we should not recognize this one in terms of providing memorials,’ they should just indicate that memorials for late presidents going forward are private matters that can be handled by their families. Then they can distance themselves,” said Chama.

“We can see these childish schemes they are trying to play. But we are not bothered. And they should not politicize the death of our former presidents. We don’t want to make any political capital and arguments out of it. Whether they attended or not, we are not even interested anyway. It doesn’t change anything.”