PF national chairperson and Justice minister Ngosa Simbyakula is worried by the emerging factions in the PF because of President Edgar Lungu’s close links with former President Rupiah Banda.
A source close to the PF says that when Dr. Simbyakula was appointed PF national chairman, Lungu tasked him with the job to reunite the party but that he has found that there are three factions, which all pose a threat to the unity of the party.
“There is the ‘original’ Sata PF which has people like Kambwili, Kalaba, Joseph Katema and some other MPs mainly Bemba speaking and then there is the Lungu/RB-MMD PF which is a mixture of Lungu and Banda’s loyalists like Mumbi Phiri, Davis Chama and company and finally there is now what is called the neutral PF which has people like Simbyakula, Inonge Wina, Joseph Kasonde.” Said the source.
He said that the original Sata PF camp doesn’t favour Rupiah’s influence in PF while the Lungu/RB PF are chancers who have just taken up the positions because of Banda’s manipulative politics. The neutral PF are mainly technocrats or politicians without strong grassroot support and were nominated by Sata but have now been maintained by Lungu, they want to unite the two factions because on their own they can stand.
The source also said that shortly before his illness and eventual death, Sata’s 2011 campaign manager Willie Nsanda had differed with Lungu on his newly found relationship with Rupiah and threatened to leave PF if Lungu continued to overlook founder members.