Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu may just be the luck person ailing president Michael Sata may settle to take over the PF presidency, sources from within State House and senior PF officials have disclosed.
Impeccable sources have disclosed that Sata was not expecting his condition to deteriorate so fast and would probably have loved his son Mulenga Sata or some other family member to be fully groomed and possibly takeover, especially if he had managed to reach 2016 and beyond.
“From the word go, Lungu would not really have been his choice for presidency, far from it. But it looks like time is running out now.
So many factors are at play, including the need to remove the Bemba tribal card that has now been associated with the PF. And Sata considers Lungu to be too liberal, too casual for the highest office, and yet too independent, but most of the other PF leaders are just too useless for president Sata to even consider,” sources said.
Of course there are a few outsiders still being considered such former Commerce Minister Felix Mutati, but the tribal tag will be too much if the PF did such a thing.
According to sources, former Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba was the preferred PF candidate and there is even a memorandum of understanding to that effect that was witnessed by former president Kenneth Kaunda prior to 2011 elections.
“It is true Kabimba and Sata signed a memorandum of understanding prior to 2011 elections for him (Kabimba) to takeover. It was witnessed by the likes of Kaunda,Post newspaper editor Fred Mmembe, DPP Mutembo Nchito, former Task Force Chairman Mark Chona and possibly the former American Ambassador Mark Stollera.
And a number of senior PF leaders who were fighting Kabimba knew about this. But these documents have no legal backing at all, and Kabimba as a lawyer should have known better. No wonder they say he is a very dull lawyer.
Perhaps he was also banking on the old friendship he has had with Sata and that he would honour the agreement,” sources have disclosed.
Sources say Kabimba’s problem was also to have become too big-headed in the party because of thePost newspaperbacking and his old friendship with Sata who he even called his father.
“And for Sata, Kabimba was the kind of a brutal president he wanted to takeover from him unlike Lungu who is considered a gentleman and too nice.
The other problem with Kabimba and his backers at thePost newspaperis that they completely underrated the powerful forces within the PF but instead concentrated on attacking and scheming against opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema. They were done with PF, and their only obstacle to the presidency was Hichilema. That’s why they are now busy crying because they ignored the powerful enemies within,” sources said.
Sources said anything is possible when Sata clocks 3 years in office after 23rdSeptember and fully qualify for his presidential retirement benefits.
“Again two options are on the table now.
He might just step down on medical advice and pave way for a snap presidential by-election within 3 months and have another general election in 2016.
The other option is for him to dissolve parliament and immediately call for a snap fresh presidential and general election so that whoever takes over goes for a complete five-year mandate, hence changing the electoral cycle,” sources have disclosed.
Sources disclosed currently the Office of the president is conducting an intensive survey to determine the PF strength on the ground in either a presidential by-election or general election in a case where government machinery will not be in a position to completely rig as is the case with a parliamentary by-election.