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After UPND lost, thought I was done with politics – MulengaBy Sipilisiwe Ncube on 20 Jun 2018
After the UPND had lost the  election, I thought that I was just literally done with politics, says Late president Michael Sata’s son, Mulenga.
Speaking when he featured on Hot FM’s Breakfast Show, Tuesday, Mulenga said he left the PF to join UPND in 2016 due to differences within the party but after reflecting, he is back to stay.
“If you referred to when I resigned, but you will recall that we were referred to as ‘the PF in UPND.’ There is nothing that went wrong with the UPND. With all due respect, the leadership of the UPND welcomed me and did their best to make me feel at home, but UPND was not my home. Apart from what I cited as the reasons for leaving the PF, there were some other differences that we had within the party; some differences about the way things should be done, which at this point I am not going to wash dirty linen in public, I’d rather not delve into. But there were differences that had developed within the party that made me feel strongly that I should not continue to be a part of it at the time. There were differences as I said and I will give the example of a married couple; sometimes you differ and you leave and feel I cannot be with this person, but with time you reflect,” Mulenga said, when he was asked why he left the PF
“I have had two years to reflect, two years of introspection, and I at a time, even after the UPND had lost the [2016 presidential] election, I thought that I was just literally done with politics on this side or that side. But with time, and I would meet people and they would say, ‘when are you coming back to the family?’ Others, I was asked just after we finished counting votes in Kabwata and said, ‘oh so are you re-joining the PF?’ And I said no, that is not the way that I operate. I have had two years to reflect and after two years of reflection, we came to stay. I am here to stay.”
He revealed that from the time he joined the UPND, there had been talks with senior members of the ruling PF to bring him back in the party.
“About whether I would have re-joined PF had Wilson Kalumba [late Lusaka Mayor] not died; what I will tell you is that, there has been dialogue from the time I left PF with senior members of the Patriotic Front. There were moves to, essentially, see how we could reconcile and come back to the party. And you will see that my cousin, Miles Sampa, was accepted back officially a few months ago. [With] all things being equal, I would have been part of that ceremony, but there were still some things that were being dealt with. So, there has been dialogue, and what has happened now more than likely would have happened anyway, and was bound to happen. And we have maintained dialogue, and we have been speaking, and just to some point, I didn’t feel ready. But you know, obviously, when one is at peace then one can make an informed decision which is what I did,” he said.
Asked how confident he was that he would win the Lusaka mayoral seat, which required electoral success from seven constituencies, when he failed to win a parliamentary seat from just one constituency, Mulenga insisted that he would win on the PF ticket.
“I think that that also has to do with the vision that you are carrying or the brand/party ticket. I think Lusaka is clearly a PF stronghold; it has and always has been from the beginning. And one Mulenga Sata who just enters the Kabwata constituency two months before an election was highly unlikely to win, but I am confident that on the PF ticket, which is already the original ticket, that PF will carry the day. I, or whichever candidate will be selected, will carry the day,” Mulenga vowed.
And asked if his return to PF was a sign that the party was a monarch, Mulenga denied having any blood connection with President Lungu.
“I have come now, the founder president is no longer with us, the party is ably led by one Edgar Chagwa Lungu and he is the vision-carrier of the party at this time. I am not…the last time I checked, I heard rumours that he is my cousin, but I can assure you that the President is no blood relation of mine. And I have just come as an ordinary member who happens to have been given a name by the founding president, but that in itself doesn’t mean that PF was just about Michael Sata, but it is about all the people that helped carry the party forward [in order] to win that election. Michael Sata just happened to spearhead the movement. So, even as you look at PF now, don’t think that it is just about Edgar Lungu or Mulenga Sata or Inonge Wina; it is about the many millions of faceless people who believe in the ideal of PF,” Mulenga said.
Meanwhile, Mulenga stressed that he had a vision to improve the financial standing of the Lusaka City Council (LCC).
“My period as mayor was short-lived. As I said, I was mayor for seven months, I became mayor in April, 2014. The PF president died in October; he died four months later of which and prior to his death, we were away with him for a good five-six weeks. So, effectively, my time in office was about three months. Some of the things that we had started at the Council though was to clean up the balance sheet; to identify the assets that council owned, which were non-performing so that we could use them better. We had obligations to statutory bodies, to retirees, to others and it was in my time that we planned the Mwatusanga area, which is where the council nursery is. So, what I can say is that, we had started to improve the financial standing of the Council. So, really, I would like to continue on that journey and also to continue with this dispensation,” said Mulenga.
About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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