Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba says he cannot go back to the ruling party to fulfill late president Michael Sata’s vision because the original Patriotic Front is long gone and forgotten.

During his homily at Sata’s memorial mass at Lusaka’s St Ignatius Parish, Monday, Fr Godwin Mulenga called on all former PF members to return to their original group and “contribute to the country’s development”.

But reacting to Fr Mulenga’s call in an interview, Kalaba rebuffed any suggestion for the founding members to return to the ruling party, saying there was no PF to talk about.

He said the current PF leadership had destroyed everything Sata worked for.

“Tell me something, can Sata’s vision only be fulfilled in the PF? There is no PF which Sata left to talk about even. I think let’s be fair to the dead man, let’s not use him in vain. For some of us, we will continue remembering the good deeds that he lived for when he was alive and that is why some of us have said we cannot continue pretending and living a lie within the framework of the PF. That’s why I resigned, I was not fired, I resigned because I didn’t believe that Sata’s vision was being lived up to. Everything that he stood for has been betrayed, everything that he fought for! The poor have been forgotten, the marginalized have been abandoned. There are more taxes in this country than any other country within the SADC region. We have high poverty levels that Sata was fighting everyday,” Kalaba said.

“We now have foreign companies running this economy, while Zambians are just watching from a distance. We have young people graduating from universities everyday, but they can’t find jobs because the jobs, now, are for those who are connected to the system! We have children who are in the rural areas of this country who can’t access the bursaries in universities because the bursary is for the ministers and their relatives. That is what Sata was fighting, but all these things have been abandoned by the current PF.”

And Kalaba, the former Foreign Affairs Ministers who ditched the ruling party in January last year over heightened corruption, said he was now Democratic Party president and he would not look back.

“There is no PF to talk about in case Fr (Mulenga) has forgotten, there is no PF to talk about! And for me, the initial PF is long gone and forgotten and I will never ever go back to PF. I am now president of the Democratic Party and I am doing everything possible to ensure that the Democratic Party continues growing, that is what we are doing and we will ensure that all the aspirations of the big man (Sata) don’t die with him; we will resuscitate them because pafwa abantu pashala abantu (people come and go),” said Kalaba.