PRESIDENT Michael Sata will not stand for re-election in 2016 and wants Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba to succeed him as PF party president.
According to some highly placed sources in the ruling PF, although most of President Sata’s advisors and sympathisers want Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba to take over in 2016, the head of state is not comfortable with the idea.
The source explained that President Sata settled for Mwamba because family comes first to him.
“It is common knowledge in the PF that our president is not standing in 2016 mainly because of his health and age and other reasons which I can’t tell you.
“So, some time ago, there were meetings within our party where we tabled the issue on who was going to take over from President Sata. Most people chose Kabimba over GBM. Then it was decided that Kabimba be brought into government to prepare him to take over.
“But those who were close to GBM protested. They were the people who started paying PF cadres to be against the appointment of Kabimba as Justice Minister. You remember that incident, right?
The source also revealed that a named media personality and other PF senior members including Kabimba had been trying to persuade President Sata to fire Mwamba in a bid to clear the way for Kabimba.
Said the source: “Kabimba and his friends have even been asking the President to relive Mwamba of his duties especially after he refused to see off the president when he going and coming back from Japan.
“But you see, the president at one of the meetings not too long ago told us that its GBM that he wants. Family comes first to President Sata and PF as a party. How can he go for Kabimba and leave out his own relative GBM just like that? I can tell, he would rather let (Finance Deputy Minister) Miles Sampa to succeed him because that’s the nephew than give the position to a ‘total stranger’ like Kabimba.”
Asked to clarify by Chongwe MP Sylvia Masebo that there was no need for in-fighting within the ruling PF because President Micheal Sata will stand for re-election in 2016, the source responded: “That’s Masebo for you. She is just playing PR (Public Relations). The truth is President Sata is not standing in 2016. Is she saying GBM and Wynter are mad? How can they be fighting for a position that won’t be ready until 2021?”
Last week, Masebo told PF party officials in Livingstone that President Sata will contest the 2016 elections and no one should start destabilising the PF by campaigning to be party president.
Masebo added that only a person with a mental problem would start looking at 2016 presidential elections in the PF when President Sata was just few months in office.
"Infighting is destroying us. Who said President Sata is not standing in 2016? He is standing. It is only God who can decide that he shall not stand. Even me as MP member of parliament, I have plans for 2016. How would I feel if I hear that someone is campaigning for 2016? We don't want to hear that people are campaigning for president. If you are campaigning for an individual, then you are against the President," Masebo is also PF Chairperson for elections said.