MATERO PF member of parliament Miles Sampa has called on PF president Edgar Lungu to ensure a smooth transition, saying there are a lot of factions in the former ruling party.

Commenting on the PF cadres who carried “Kambwili 2026” banners to late president Micheal Sata’s memorial service, Sampa said it was unfortunate that the party was engulfed in a succession dispute like what transpired in 2014.

“Just to say that the same problem that engulfed the PF in 2014 when Michael Sata died is the same one that is happening now, which is most unfortunate. At least then, we were in government but now we are in opposition. Ultimately, the leaders of the party should put their foot down and lead the party. I remember, may his soul rest in peace, president Michael Sata did not leave it in black and white against the confusion that happened in 2014. So even here, the leader of the party is still president Edgar Lungu, he should take charge in ensuring that there is smooth transition. But if left like this, it is like a free for all punching bag. That is why we are seeing all these factions,” he said.

“The process must be managed, whoever it is that will take over, the process needs to be managed. The longer it takes, the worse it gets. The onus is on the current president and leadership to manage the process and to ensure that whoever takes over, takes over quickly. There will always be those that will not be happy one way or the other, but now the game is left for everybody to play as they wish. I am seeing a lot of factions emanating. Ultimately, everybody has the right to stand up, whoever wants should stand up.”

He said the party was already disadvantaged by being in the opposition and the onus was, therefore, on Lungu to manage the process and ensure that a leader was picked.

“Again, the process needs to be managed and the earlier, the better for the party. You are disadvantaged as an opposition, UPND is in position, if you are looking at 2026, you have to start slowly and nicely and start early. If you will start late, it is a problem. So the process must be managed. Essentially, PF should make sure that it doesn’t go back to what happened in 2014 to ensure that the process is managed. Whoever wants to should, in one way or the other, be allowed, but the onus is on our president to manage the process and to ensure that a leader is picked,” said Sampa.