Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Puta backs Katele

Puta backs Katele
By Bivan Saluseki
Tuesday September 04, 2007 [04:00]

CHIEF Puta of the Bwile people in Chiengi has said MMD national secretary Katele Kalumba should be supported for the party's presidency because he is wise and intelligent. And former works and supply minister Ludwig Sondashi yesterday said he was very serious about his intentions to contest the MMD presidency and would soon be addressing the press on the matter.

In an interview, chief Puta said Kalumba had done a lot for the people of Chiengi and deserved to be Republican president.

"We can support him because he has done wonders in our area. People are ready to support him," chief Puta said.
When reminded that Katele was still facing corruption cases in court, chief Puta said the court would have to decide.

"On that one, there is the court. I respect the judiciary. They have not been found guilty. Let the court decide," he said.
Chief Puta said Kalumba was wise.

"He is a wise man, very brave and intelligent. I think he can work as President," said chief Puta.
But Luapula Province MMD chairperson Kennedy Sakeni said he would not comment on whether the province would rally behind Kalumba to succeed President Mwanawasa.
Sakeni said he would rather commend President Mwanawasa over the constitutional roadmap.

Kalumba, who is from chief Puta's area, is said to be eyeing the MMD presidency. Recently, MMD Southern Province chairman Daniel Munkombwe said party leaders facing corruption allegations were at liberty to contest the presidency since they were deemed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Also reported to be gunning for the MMD presidency are foreign affairs minister Kabinga Pande, home affairs minister Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha, MMD national chairman Michael Mabenga, former foreign affairs minister Mundia Sikatana, Mkushi farmer Costain Chilala and finance minister Ng'andu Magande, among others.

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