MINISTER of Defence Davies Chama has laughed off the appointment of former vice-president Dr Guy Scott as UPND’s chief consultant, saying it’s an act of desperation by the opposition party.

And Chama says Dr Scott left PF after the 2015 Presidential by-elections so his appointment should not be looked at as a defection.

In an interview, Chama said it’s sad that the UPND could even appoint a person on a ventilator just so they could win an election, which can never happen regardless of how many consultants they get.

“So the UPND, why I was laughing? The UPND can even go to a person who is on a ventilator, you can be on a ventilator and they can write you a letter, come and become our manager to manage UPND for us in order for them to win an election. It’s a desperate political party, they can go to any length. How I wish they can spare the old man, how I wish they can spare Dr Guy Scott but it’s up to them whom they appoint as their consultant, whatever they want to do in a bid to win an election, which election they can never win regardless of how many consultants they can have. But it’s a sad episode for me because I had a discussion [with Dr Scott] together with the wife, so sometimes you feel sorry that they can be able to even abuse certain people for the sake of them trying to portray that they have support, it’s very sad,” he said.

Chama wished UPND could spare Dr Scott and allow him to focus on his health.

“So for me, I feel sad that they can be able to, I am not accusing them of abusing some people but you see, sometimes you can even see that I wish they can really spare the man because of late, his health has not been at its best, and we can only wish him well and quick recovery. Hope God can intervene for him to be better but you see, to bring people in a political crossfire because you want to be desperate to be in State House, it is very unfortunate and very sad,” he said.

“So when I hear now he has been appointed as consultant, I said oh, I wish them all the best. You know, people make their own decisions politically but we should not be abusing certain people for our political expediency but if people, maybe they have agreed to be abused, who are we? We can only pray for them and wish them all the best.”

And Chama noted that Dr Scott left the party after the 2015 Presidential by-elections adding that the current appointment should not be looked at as a defection.

“Have we lost him? The answer is no, I think the separation in terms of, sad as it may be, when we lost President [Michael] Sata and there was those differences that emanated from the death of President Sata as our founding president, President Sata, may his soul rest in peace. So that’s where the differences emanated from and you remember the convention that we had in PF and the differences that we had, that’s where the differences were. According to you as journalists, he has defected, but I think the defection happened a long time ago, it’s certainly a long time ago that’s why some time back, there has been a lot of emissaries who were soliciting, who were pestering me, calling me to say Dr Guy Scott wanted to talk to me, he wanted to have an audience with me, they called until finally I said fine, let him come. They came at my place they actually bounced, the second time they came, they found me and we had discussions with Dr Guy Scott. It’s up to him to answer [what the discussions were about], I am not going to answer the question on his behalf,” he said.

“Remember when he was in UTH, Her Honour the Vice-President visited him in hospital. For us as PF, we believe in love, we believe in working together with a lot of people and we are guided by the bible because we are a Christian nation…and when I briefed the President about the overtones of Dr Guy Scott, that I had visitation, and I said I was also requested to visit them at their house so that I can have a discussion. Now together with the husband, [the] wife together, the President said proceed and go ahead because for us we don’t harbour any grudge at all, we have pure hearts, pure souls and you know when you hate someone, you are carrying a very big burden. So the President doesn’t hate anybody.”

He said Dr Scott had never supported President Lungu but had always been on the opposing side.

“If you remember during the 2016 elections, his wife stood as a candidate under UPND, so where do you think the family was? Do you remember after the passing on of the late President Sata, what we went through as a party? You will find out that he has never supported the President, President Edgar Lungu. So he has always been on the other side,” he said.

Asked whether the appointment would have any effect on the PF, Chama laughed and said the party was on a strong foundation and the appointment would have no impact whatsoever.

“So we are on a very strong foundation and our strong foundation is based on what we have done and what we have promised the Zambian people from the time we formed government in 2011, Zambia has been transformed and that’s our focus. It’s not our business what UPND does and we are not even interested to follow what they do, that’s their baby. If they think appointing other people will strengthen them maybe they lack capacity of consultation, maybe they need consultants. If you remember, they were trying to hire another consultant, Dr Chishimba Kambwili and you can write pages on that; consultants. So, they are desperate to get a lot of consultants, local and foreign to help them win an election. That’s UPND for you, they are desperate they can go and hire anyone. You know when a person and party is desperate, they can do anything, if you can even William Banda as senior advisor to the president,” said Chama.

“Worried about appointment of people by UPND, not at all, why? Why should we worry, what impact can they have? None at all. The business of UPND is none of our business so it will not have any impact at all. Just read your history, it will tell you a story of where we have come from. He is a founder member but read the history.”