10 July 2014

Zambia: Chongwe PF Warns of Damage to Ruling Party

Photo: State House
President Sata at his inauguration (file photo).

Patriotic Front (PF) committee member in Kaposhi area of Chongwe district Gibson Mwangilwa has warned that the ruling party was jeopardising its own future for being secretive over Michael Sata's health and his absence from the country.

Mwangilwa has said the government must prove to Zambians that Michael Sata returned to Zambia on Friday last week.

Mwangilwa has warned that the PF was digging its own grave for being so secretive over the president's health and his whereabouts.

He said the people in his area were concerned about the speculation regarding Michael Sata's health and his trip to Israel, adding that the ruling party members in the ward were not sure whether the president returned to Zambia as reported in the media.

He said in Lusaka at the weekend that Zambians had been reduced to rely on mere rumours and speculations regarding their own leader.

"We hear the president returned to Zambia last week on Friday. We have no proof to that effect because it would have been prudent for the senior people and the government to ensure that they show him to us on television and newspapers so that we see for ourselves that our leader is truly well according to their assurances," he said.

Mwangilwa said Zambians even in rural areas were following the events regarding Michael Sata because of the proliferation of mobile phones, radio and television in all corners of the country

He said if Michael Sata was not well, there was nothing sinister to tell the people because everyone was susceptible to illness. He said if Michael Sata was sick, this should be an opportunity for the PF to prepare for a smooth succession that would see the ruling party consolidate its stay in power.

"The current status where we are not being told what is going on is not good. It is better to start preparing for another leader to take over if the man of action is incapacitated. The party members must be allowed to debate this matter because it will help to resolve the whole issues because currently, we are in the dark and we do not want to be caught unaware," he said.

On Wynter Kabimba, Mwangilwa said there was a silent struggle for power in which Kabimba was seeing himself as a sole successor to Michael Sata.

Mwangilwa said the PF must handle this matter carefully because it had potential to distabilise the party. He said there were other people who were also competent and interested in the position.

"This party does not belong to one person or to a particular group of people. It belongs to all of us who believe in the ideals of the party. It is wrong for some people such as Kabimba to say the party belongs to them because they suffered for it during our time in the opposition. Politics is about numbers and if Kabimba thinks he can use only the founders of the party to remain in power then he has got it all wrong," he said.

On Friday, it was reported that Michael Sata returned to Zambia from Israel where he had gone on a working holiday where he was scheduled to meet out-going Prime Minister Shimon Perez. However, there has been no evidence to show the president was in the country.

Some people have questioned why Wynter Kabimba was still acting president if Michael Sata had returned to Zambia.

There have been inconsistent statements from the government regarding Michael Sata's health and his trip to Israel.

Vice president had said Michael Sata was on an indefinite working holiday, which included medical attention and this was amid reports that Michael Sata was critically hospitalized in Israel.

Scores of Zambians have been left to speculate about Michael Sata's health and his recent travel abroad because there has been no coherent information from the government and many people believe the president was afflicted by poor health.

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