Late President Michael Sata’s son Mulenga is today expected to rejoin the ruling Patriotic Front after toiling in the opposition UPND and announcing his resignation from politics.
Sata who is former deputy mayor of Lusaka and provincial minister dumped the ruling party three months ahead of the 2016 general elections, but News Diggers! has learnt that the Patriotic Front is set to welcome him back at the party secretariat today.
PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza confirmed that the oldest son of the PF founding father had decided to return to his home.
“Comrade Mulenga Sata is very welcome to PF because this is his home and it will always be his home.
The PF is open, it’s a party for everyone. It’s a party where every voice is respected. Nothing is done by one man who is believed to be a god of the party, it is done through consultations. Even President Edgar Lungu himself depends on the wisdom of the Central Committee. That is what is attracting people to PF. So a lot of people, including those that had gone to NDC have come back to PF because they have realised that there is no direction in the opposition,” Mwanza said.
Asked what the party had offered Sata for him to decide to go back, Mwanza said the defector had simply realised the mistake he made leaving the party.
“I might not be the best person to speak on his behalf, but what I know is that comrade Mulenga Sata left PF for greener pastures in UPND. I think the experience that he had with UPND has made him realise that it was a mistake in the first place to leave the PF. I am sure that when he left PF, he thought that UPND was a better alternative. He believed that UPND was offering him a better option. After his experience, just like many of us who have been to UPND will attest that the party is an exclusive club for a particular region, he decided to come back. No matter how people might pretend that they have embraced you in UPND it’s a lie, they are doing that on the face value, but once you are not there they discuss how they can’t trust you because you don’t come from their region.”
He said there would be many big figures going back to PF.
“I wouldn’t be surprised that very soon we will see more high profile defections coming from the UPND. We have already seen that mama Maureen Mwanawasa left, because she realised that she couldn’t survive or agree with what was going on. I can tell you that even if you ask GBM today, he is a very troubled man staying in that party and I wouldn’t be surprised one day seeing him come back to PF,” he said.
Mwanza said it was not true that everyone who joins the PF goes to eat.
“There is a misconception that if anyone joins the ruling party then they are going to eat or to get a job; that’s a misconception. If you look at the current scenario, the opposition is not inspiring,” he said.
When reminded that he also followed a job in PF and that he was now looking healthier and dressing smatter, Mwanza argued that he had always looked smart when ever he wanted even before joining PF.
“I saw a caricature of me where they put a picture taken four years ago and a picture of me this month and said Antonio Mwanza has gained weight. So I went back into my profile to pick a picture of two three years ago, and I found that actually I was fatter two years ago than I am today. This is because in the Patriotic Front there is a lot of work, it being a ruling party. The responsibilities are too much and the expectations from people are many. There is no room for anyone to relax or to rest. I was in China just three weeks ago, on a China-Africa Summit and I was representing the PF; I came back very thin because I couldn’t acclimatise with the food that we were getting in China. So gaining weight or looking smart is really not an issue, I have always looked smart when I wanted to. If I was after money, I would have gone abroad to get a job, I have a lot of connections and I am highly qualified, I am an intellectual,” Mwanza bragged.
He insisted that people would continue running from the opposition because it was failing to raise real issues.
“What we expect from an opposition political party especially those who are the biggest opposition party like the UPND, you expect them to be very critical on raising issues that affect the people in terms of checks and balances and government policy. But we don’t hear that from UPND, what we hear is ‘panga for panga, Lungu is not a Zambian, Lungu is a dictator…’ and you can imagine a person who is saying Lungu is a dictator has never held a convention for 12 years,” he observed.
“The current opposition are cry babies, they don’t give hope and any direction where people can say let us move away from PF and go to UPND where they can give us peace. There is nothing like that. It’s just none issues, propaganda, malice and name-calling. And they are always talking about ‘our elections were stolen’. They are saying the people of Chilanga voted in the matter they did because the PF gave them millie meal, I think that’s a very serious insult to the people of Chilanga. When you look at Mr Hakainde Hichilema, every time he is on radio, he is crying. There is no time that he speaks to issues that affect people and how he will address them. Instead, he is crying about the petition which is not there, he is cry about the dictatorship which is not there, he is crying about the 127 days which he spent in prison. So people tend to see that there is no opposition.”
He added that PF rebel MP Chishimba Kambwili was not adding value to the opposition neither.
“Look at Chishimba Kambwili, he had a press briefing to respond to the many issues we raised against the handling of intelligence data by the FIC director and her board. We expected that he would respond to the substantial issues that we raised. In terms of what the Act states with regards to where should FIC take the information it gathers. But instead he went into the same insults of everyday and Bemba proverbs. He was just waffling, and you see, that doesn’t inspire anyone to go to a political party that is based on just insulting government,” said Mwanza.
“He was saying Kampyongo collected a Toyota Hilux from the people that bought the fire tenders, but when he was queried by government to show evidence, he failed. So when people look at that, a person who talks to much about corruption but has no evidence, and he himself has more than 30 cases of corruption on his head, you can’t be inspired to join his party.”