Sata vows to shock, teach MMD a lesson
Written by Bivan Saluseki in Kasama
Friday, September 18, 2009 5:27:38 PM
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) leader Michael Sata yesterday rallied thousands of his supporters, overshadowing the ruling MMD and opposition UNIP during the filing of nomination papers for the Kasama Central parliamentary by-election. But both MMD and UNIP said they were not a write-off.
By press time, PF’s Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, commonly known as GBM, UNIP’s Alexander Chansa and MMD’s Burton Mugala had filed in while an independent candidate was still being awaited amid reports that he had withdrawn.
Sata said he would shock and teach MMD a lesson in Kasama this time. He said former president Frederick Chiluba did not scare him on being de-campaigned.
Just before the nomination, Sata visited Buseko main market to greet some marketeers and check on sanitation facilities, a move which, seemingly worked to the advantage of PF as the same traders snaked their way to the nomination centre.
At Buseko, marketeers cheered and ululated while others jostled to greet Sata.
The commotion nearly caused a stampede as traders squeezed through the market alleys to either get in front of Sata or just to greet him.
“Kanshi emo achili uyu muntu, shikulu [This man is still fit]!” one marketeer thought loudly.
Sata said he had gone to check on the biggest market in Kasama, which had no toilet.
“This is the biggest market, but no toilet,” he told the traders.
Sata later went to another market along Mpulungu Road where, another huge crowd awaited him. He told them to head to the nomination centre.
And in an interview, Sata said the MMD would be shocked.
“The Kasama polls, MMD is in a big shock. MMD arranged…[Saviour] Chishimba was supposed to resign from PF and join MMD and when Rupiah Banda expelled Chibombamilimo, [President] Rupiah Banda knew when Chishimba was going to resign. That’s when they started this fake repair of a road to Mpulungu and that road to the chief. The whole point is, this election we are going in, we have a second chance to tell the people… for them [MMD] to come and show us what they have done. First of all, 45 years of independence, what is here? What have we seen? We don’t want job seekers. Chishimba was a job seeker. We have adopted a person who is not a job seeker. The money which they are getting from NCC, our candidate has already got it,” he said.
Sata said GBM hailed from Kasama and was a son of a chief.
“See how they have neglected and abandoned chiefdoms in this area. They are the most neglected in the whole country. Nobody cares. They can go and put a small fake bridge and say that they have brought development,” he said.
Sata said there was no sign of MMD in Kasama.
“Have you seen any sign of MMD? If they win the election, it will be something else,” he said.
On his being de-campaigned by Chiluba, Sata said he was not scared.
“You see, if they want to open old wounds…first of all, what is Chiluba going to tell the people? Chiluba ruled for 10 years, what did he do for Kasama? What did he do for Northern Province? Chiluba ruled for 10 years. Let Chiluba show us here one little toilet which he sunk in Kasama. Let him come. He can’t scare me. [Dr Kenneth] Kaunda at least we are seeing something. Kaunda at least we can forgive him because he is a brother-in-law to Rupiah but they can all come. Kuti bantemba bonse, baisa [they can all gang up against me], we are ready for them. You have seen there is no sign of Rupiah Banda here, no sign of Chiluba here, no sign of a BIGOCA Bible here,” he said.
Just before GBM could file his nominations, Sata’s supporters nearly turned the area around the civic centre into a rally. The cadres and their officials surged forward as they tried to break the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) – police cordon.
The PF supporters were incensed with police’s decision to block them from proceeding to the nomination room because it was not yet time for the PF candidate to file.
One of the police officers pushed Sata who was among the cadres and this riled Sata’s supporters.
The officer was nearly roughed up by Sata’s bodyguards but for quick intervention by a senior police officer who apologised and allowed a few supporters to accompany Sata and GBM.
After filing in his nomination, GBM said he was the best candidate.
“This is my home town. All my ancestors were born here and were buried here,” he said.
GBM said he would do what people want.
“It’s the people who should tell the MP,” he said.
GBM said Kasama had come to a standstill and that showed how popular he was. His campaign manager Willie Nsanda warned that he would not tolerate trouble in Kasama this time.
UNIP candidate Alexander Chansa came out of the nomination room around 10:30 hours with a handful of supporters.
Humble looking, but trembling slightly, Chansa said he was confident of winning.
“I don’t have few supporters, I have plenty of them. The others are around the council chamber,” said Chansa pointing to a small group that had safely tucked itself upon a hill next to the police station.
Asked if he felt intimidated by PF since the group wanted to go inside the nomination room even when he was still there, Chansa said: “No, no, I am not.”
Chansa said he was a local businessman and had lived in Kasama most of his life.
He said UNIP had trained him in the former Soviet Union in political education for a year. Chansa said he worked for Kasama Municipal Council for 19 years and was quite successful in business.
“I am a local person whom they live with, whom they share problems with,” he said.
Chansa said he would continue where Chishimba ended because most of the issues were on the drawing board.
“What is more important is to work with the people,” said Chansa.
Chansa later headed to his group of supporters, addressed them before driving with them in a van away from the pomp at the PF side.
MMD managed to woo some supporters, mostly women.
MMD’s Burton Mugala, who was the third to file, said he would scoop the seat.
Mugala, commonly known as ‘Igwee’, rated himself high.
“I have no opposition. I rate myself high. The reasons are simple. I am a local person. You fell in Kabwata, are we fools to allow a person who failed in Kabwata to come and win here? No!” he said.
Mugala said GBM was an imposed candidate on Kasama.
Mugala said water and electricity problems needed to be sorted out in Kasama.
Works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti and other senior MMD officials accompanied Mugala.
The Kasama by-elections are slated for October 15, 2009.