Wednesday, September 11, 2013

GBM, Name the pf riffraffs - Sampa
By Moses Kuwema
Wed 21 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT

COMMERCE deputy minister Miles Sampa has asked defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba to name the riffraffs in the party instead of making blanket statements. And Sampa says it is premature and irrelevant to talk about endorsing President Michael Sata now.

Commenting on Mwamba's statement that he wants to safeguard PF from riffraffs who want to destroy the party by imposing themselves as President Michael Sata's potential successors, Sampa, who is Matero PF member of parliament and also member of the party's central committee, advised Mwamba to name the people he was referring to instead of speaking generally.

Sampa said he did not know of any riffraffs in the party, adding that that was why Mwamba should have been specific in his statement.

"I trust all my colleagues in the Central Committee are upright, and that's why they are there. Everybody is dignified and deserves to be members of the party be it at district or constituency. He Mwamba needs to come out in the open and state who those riffraffs are and share with some of us. If he convinces us that indeed there are riffraffs, then at that stage we can even help him. At the moment, I have not noticed anyone that would qualify to be called that. He needs to alert all of us in the Central Committee," said Sampa.

"I know my colleague is not in the Central Committee but I think he has adequate channels to convey messages. If he thinks the party or presidency is under threat, we can assist him really because it is the duty of everybody to protect the presidency and the party. In my interactions with everybody in the past for the last couple of years, I have not come across somebody I can call a riffraff."

Sampa said while Mwamba had the right to express his views, he should do so through the internal party structures.

"This could be discussed internally. Let us learn to consult each other internally. If GBM knows someone who is a riffraff, first of all he should exercise the option of speaking directly to that person or get other senior members of the party involved, like the Vice-President and the chairperson. That's what I will propagate, probably call for an internal meeting and discuss these issues internally and not through the media," said Sampa.

And Sampa said the timing for endorsing President Sata as sole candidate in 2016 was wrong.

"There has not been any question yet on succession and we are not yet there. There is an incumbent who is fully in control. Our priority now should be to deliver. I am speaking as a member of parliament from Matero which contributed the highest vote to the presidency. If someone wants to challenge President Sata, they should come out but that is then in 2016, they should not be stopped," he said.

Sampa said if those endorsing President Sata had any idea that the President was being challenged internally, they should state so.
He said the talk of endorsements was not something that the people wanted to hear as it was disturbing the programme of development.

"This talk is irrelevant now because it is stating the obvious. If some people want to impress the President, they should do it by concentrating on developmental issues. This talk is ill-timed. This is diverting our attention from the real issues we need to work on. Time to talk about succession will come towards 2016. The President will state himself then," said Sampa.

On Monday Mwamba said he wanted to safeguard PF from riffraffs that had come to destroy the ruling party by imposing themselves as President Sata's potential successors. Explaining his campaign to endorse President Sata as the PF's sole presidential candidate in 2016, Mwamba, popularly known GBM, said in an interview that those that wanted to impose themselves as presidential candidates knew themselves.

"I will go on with my agenda to protect the party from other people that have secret agendas to come and take over the presidency," Mwamba said. "Is anything wrong with us supporting the current President? As PF members, we want to safeguard our party. We don't want riffraffs to come and destroy our party. Tell them this time around they will not succeed. Sata, 2016 again."

Asked to explain what he meant when he told PF cadres in Kalabo to sort out anybody that would come to them with a view contrary to his over the presidency debate, Mwamba said: "I meant what I said."
He explained that the PF members should simply do what was right.

"Yes, this is not the right time that we should talk about the presidency, no. It is too early to say that. We should remain united but we shouldn't have secret agendas," Mwamba said. "We are going to detract the President. So that is my view."

He said although he had triggered the presidential endorsement issue, he was not interested in the PF presidency himself because he had "no crowd".

But Mwamba said his lack of interest in the party presidency was only as along as President Sata remained there.

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