Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sata is healthy - GBM
By Allan Mulenga
Thu 22 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT

NO one should think President Michael Sata will die today or tomorrow, says defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba. And Mwamba yesterday implied that commerce deputy minister Miles Sampa is one of the riffraffs destroying the party by imposing themselves as President Sata's potential successors.

Briefing the press within ZNBC premises in Lusaka, Mwamba, who is also Kasama Central PF member of parliament, said there were people within the PF who wanted President Sata to die so that they could take over the leadership of the party.

"We know that there is a scheme that certain people have teamed up... they have already said that President Sata... in fact, some of them are saying that he would die before 2016. So, it is about time that they started positioning themselves, which is very unfortunate. You see, every human's life destiny is from God," he said. "No one should think President Sata will die today or tomorrow. Probably even those that think that President Sata will die today, they are the ones who will die..."

Mwamba disclosed that there was a scheme by certain party members to create an impression that President Sata was not enjoying good health.
"The issue of saying that President Sata is dying, that is out of question; and the President is very healthy and sound," he said.

Mwamba said President Sata did not want to hear anyone talk about his successor in 2016.

"Literally, every day I am with him and he is very sound and he is always busy because he is trying to develop the country. He wants to put things in place; he promised the people of Zambia development. This is basically what he wants to do. Now, if we are going to start positioning ourselves, we are going to distract him," he said.

"Let us give him a chance. The President should not hear about anyone talking about his successor in 2016."

Mwamba advised party members not to be preoccupied with President Sata's health.

"Why has it brought an uproar? If they are not supporting President Sata to be the presidential candidate in 2016, let them just come out in the open. They should not hide, and if they think they are men and women enough to also run their own party, they are free to leave us in the PF," he said.

"Let them go and form their own parties, and majority of people now who are on board, who want to think that they are champions of the party, they were not even there when we were being victimised by the MMD government. Today, they want to come out and say 'no, we are the champions; we are the ones who want to succeed President Sata'. I think this matter should come to an end."

Mwamba vowed to carry on with his crusade to endorse President Sata for 2016 elections.

"I will continue with my crusade of President Sata for 2016. This is a fact, come 2016, I will continue campaigning for President Sata. To us as PF members, we still feel that President Sata should go for a second term. There is no way you expect President Sata to finish all his promises that he promised the people of Zambia in one term; it is not possible," he said.

"Look at Obama, Obama was given a second term because they knew that within the first term he will not execute all his campaign promises. So, we should also give an opportunity to President Sata to also go for a second term."

And Mwamba said Sampa, who is also Matero member of parliament, was not competent enough like him to talk about presidential endorsements for 2016 elections.

"Basically, in the first place I would like to find out, is honourable Miles Sampa now the party spokesperson? Inasfar as I am concerned, he is not. In any case, in what capacity is he asking me to name these riffraffs?" he asked.

"I think honourable Sampa has also something that I will term as hidden agenda. Probably, he wants us to endorse him for 2016, but unfortunately he is too young. There have been a lot of senior members of the party who are qualified or competent enough than him. I think he should first of all let those people in the party to take their time."

Mwamba wondered why Sampa responded to his earlier statement on endorsement when there was a party spokesperson to do so.

"It is a very disappointing statement and it looks like he is also part of those riffraffs that I mentioned. Why has he opted to respond and yet he knows that some of the people are positioning themselves for 2016 presidency? If I may ask, has President Sata announced to the public or within the party that he will never contest 2016 presidency? The answer is no," he said.

"President Sata has not said anything about that. As far as we are concerned, as members of the Patriotic Front, we feel that he should continue because he has not said he will not contest 2016 presidential elections. Why do people want to put words in his month?"

Mwamba challenged Sampa to prove his popularity in the party.

"In fact, he is lucky that he is a member of parliament. He was elected as a member of parliament because of the popularity of President Sata; not his own popularity. If he wants, let him step down and let him resign in Matero; we will go for him. He will not even get 50 votes. So, I am challenging him to do so," he said.

"Even those PF members who do not want to endorse President Sata, it is entirely up to them. They can do what they want but we the majority of the PF supporters, we feel that President Sata should be endorsed for 2016 presidency. What are we rushing for? So, I think my dear brother Miles Sampa, if he thinks that he is ready to challenge President Sata, because from the way I can read from The Post, he is also saying that he is also popular enough to challenge President Sata."

On Tuesday, Sampa asked Mwamba to name the riffraffs in the party instead of making blanket statements. Sampa said it was premature and irrelevant to talk about endorsing President Michael Sata now.

"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."

But 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.

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