PRESIDENT Sata may have thrown a damper on endorsements about his sole candidature for the 2016 elections but the proponents are unwavering.
Mr Mwamba, who is Minister of Defence, says the party is not short of ordinary members or even ministers who can propose President Sata’s name for the 2016 general elections.
“As for now, I have abandoned my endorsement crusade until we have the name proposed. We are not short of ministers who can endorse His Excellency the President [Mr Sata], even in the meeting [Central Committee meeting] we were yesterday [Monday], three ministers volunteered to propose President Sata’s name,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Mr Mwamba says despite abandoning the crusade, he will continue to support President Sata until he is proposed to stand for election in 2016.
Matero MP Miles Sampa says he will propose President Sata’s name to Patriotic Front (PF) structures in his constituency for endorsement to contest the 2016 elections.
Mr Sampa, who is deputy minister of Commerce, said in Lusaka yesterday that recommendations of the party structures in his constituency would be taken to relevant authorities within the party.
“Speaking for myself, I will propose his name [President Sata’s]…we will have resolutions from the sections, branches, wards and the entire constituency for endorsement,” he said.
However, Mr Sampa said he has no intention to challenge President Sata because he is not desperate to become president.
He said according to Zambia’s history, politicians who are desperate to be president of the country have never succeeded.
“The history of Zambia will tell you that those people who really want to become president will not go anywhere. Those who are desperate to appoint themselves that they lead [the nation]…they will never go anywhere,” Mr Sampa said.
“Even the current president knows that when you really want to become president, you won’t make it. But the last election, he was not desperate to be president. Actually, he was the most relaxed person during election time,” he said.
Mr Sampa said President Sata still has a lot of support from Zambians and deserves to be given a chance to stand for presidency again.
He said as President Sata has instructed, it would be important for ministers not to use the President’s name to champion their presidential ambitions.
“I don’t harbour these ambitions. There are elderly people who may be more deserving to aspire… mine is to serve the people and the President,” he said.
But Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo said ministers should follow the instructions given by the President.
“I can’t respond to what the President has said. I don’t think it is in order. What we all need to do now is to implement what the President has said,” Ms Masebo said.