National Democratic Congress leader Chishimba Kambwili has insisted that he has no intentions of rejoining the ruling party.
And Father Godwin Mulenga has called on all founding members who left the PF to rejoin the ruling party and contribute to Zambia’s development.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu has called on politicians to emulate Sata’s style of politics saying he is a patriot who always puts the country first.
During Sata’s memorial mass, Monday, Fr Chilinda called Dr Christine Kaseba to stand as “a center of unity” between Kambwili and President Lungu, making the two political rivals shake hands after agreeing to let go of any grudges.
Pictures of this moment went viral on social media almost immediately, reigniting speculation that the former chief government spokesperson would return to the ruling party.
But speaking to journalists after a closed door meeting with President Lungu and Fr Chilinda, Kambwili said it was not possible to reconcile people by ambushing them.
“Unity is required, but for you to meet unity, there are certain aspects that you have to consider and take into account. Unity does not just come like boom! There is unity. And certain things, if you want to meet somebody, tell them in advance, you don’t ambush them,” Kambwili said.
“I don’t know. The priests were trying to tell us to reconcile between me and the President and I have told them, I have nothing against him, he also has nothing against me. So if we haven’t differed, what is there to talk about? He is President of PF and I am president of NDC and the status quo continues.”
And in a statement to counter rumors that he was set to rejoin PF, Kambwili stated that there were no discussions about rejoining the ruling party.
“It has come to my attention that propagandist are at it again with their malicious rumors and this time taking advantage of my attendance of the 5th memorial of our gallant man Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata. (M.H.S.R.I.E.P). The priest indeed called upon all former members of PF to work together and visible among them was me and he called me to the front in church. Further, after church service the priest again called me and President Edgar Lungu for a closed meeting in which the priest again urged us to forgive ourselves. I mentioned to the priest that I have nothing against the Republican President and I emphasized that all that needs to be done by the PF leadership proper governance of our country and that I will continue providing the usual checks and balances,” stated Kambwili.
“There was nothing discussed relating to me rejoining PF. I need to retaliate that I have not gone back to PF and I have no intentions whatsoever! I still remain the President of the fast growing National Democratic Congress party (NDC) and I urge our members countrywide and those in the diaspora to continue mobilizing the party. My attendance of important National programs and association with old colleagues in PF does not in any way amount to rejoining them.”
And during his homily, Fr Mulenga urged PF founders to return to the party.
“I know there so many friends who were there in the original setting, Wynter Kabimba, Kambwili, and many others. Before I came to do this service, I was viewing a video where Sata, GBM, Wynter, and many others were celebrating when GBM won his seat for the first time in Kasama. And I know that Sata would wish that that original team is still working today. The whole vision is characterized by unity. I beg you, all those who were in the original group, come back! Your time to contribute to this nation, it is today. You will not go to bed and sit with this and betray the original idea. We have to be patient with each other. Yes, we make mistakes, if one is in the seat, doesn’t mean he knows it all, he is also learning,” said Fr Mulenga.
Meanwhile, in his speech, President Lungu urged politicians to emulate Sata’s style of politics.
“Five years have passed since that fateful day in October, 2014. But president Sata’s courage of conviction still drives our development agenda. His ideas of what Zambia could become in our lifetime, still gives us a sense of mission. That is why we are celebrating him today. On another level, President Michael Sata’s political life was also a great lesson to all would-be politicians. He hated losing, but never let political setbacks, bruised emotions and injured virtue get the better of him. He always put Zambia first and lived to fight another day. Eventually, he would almost always win. Those of us who consider ourselves worthy political students of this man will do well to emulate him. He was a democrat through and through, and above all, a patriot. He was at home in any place in Zambia, encouraging all of us to be proud of who we are and proud of our country, Zambia,” said President Lungu.
“Lastly, we all have a debt to repay this country. President Michael Chilufya Sata wanted a Zambia that was united, a Zambia that was food secure, a Zambia that was clean, green and beautiful. To honor his memory, let us remember that we can all do our part to make this country great, beautiful and prosperous. Let’s plant a tree in his honor. Let us beautify our premises, let us keep our surroundings clean and green. Let us feed our nation through hard work, innovation and determination to overcome our challenges. I thank you all for coming to honor this man today, my hero, my leader, his excellency president Michael Chilufya Sata.”