PATRIOTIC Front (PF) secretary general Davies Chama has said the party is going to win the August 11 general elections with or without Mulenga Sata.
Mr Chama described Mr Sata’s defection as unfortunate but incapable of destabilising the party.
He said in an interview yesterday that the PF was committed to promoting the legacy of its founding father, Michael Sata.
“It is unfortunate that Mr Sata has decided to join the opposition UPND neglecting his father’s party. We can only wish him good luck,” Mr Chama said.
He said the PF had accepted Mr Sata’s defection and it was up to the people of Zambia to judge whether he betrayed his father’s legacy or not.
Mr Sata, who was until yesterday Lusaka Province Minister, resigned from his ministerial position and defected to the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).
Mr Sata said during a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that his decision to leave the PF was because the party had been hijacked by other people.
He said he wanted to rally behind and support UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema as he was the solution to the economic and social challenges the country was going through.
Meanwhile, PF deputy spokesperson Frank Bwalya said the PF would continue respecting Mr Sata despite the decision he had taken because he was a son to the founding father of the PF, Michael Sata.
Mr Bwalya said it was, however, unfortunate that Mr Sata would not be part of the team that would continue defending his father’s legacy.
When asked whether it was true that Mr Sata had taken the decision to leave the PF because he does not have a grade 12 certificate, Mr Bwalya declined to comment.
But when the reporter insisted on Mr Bwalya to give his stance, he said: “We have heard those rumours that he does not have a grade 12 certificate as a qualification for one to stand as Member of Parliament (MP), mayor or councillor.
“We want to make it clear that Mr Lungu (President) has been accommodative and people who are leaving are not doing so because Mr Lungu has refused to accommodate them.
“We respect the decision of Mr Sata and we wish him well but most of us are worried that he may not be happy where he has gone because he may not meet his aspirations,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Sata on the grade 12 accusations proved futile as his mobile phone went unanswered.
PF member of the Central Committee (MCC) Paul Moonga said in a separate interview that it was unfortunate that Mr Sata had decided to leave the PF but wished him well in his political endeavours.
Mr Moonga, however, said Mr Sata’s decision to leave the PF could have been influenced by his allegedly not having a grade 12 certificate to enable him stand as an MP, mayor or councillor.
He said Mr Sata allegedly failed to produce his grade 12 certificate when he was asked by the provincial committee to avail them with one after he applied to be considered for a position of Lusaka mayor.
Mr Moonga said after the committee persistently asked Mr Sata to avail it with his certificate, the next thing they saw was him withdrawing from the race.
Times of Zambia