Minister of Defence Geoffrey Bwayla Mwamba (GBM) had his first first opportunity to meet President Michael Sata face-to-face following weeks of dramatic political infighting for leadership of the ruling party today in Livingstone, as the president arrived to Livingstone for the commissioning of a Zambian Air Force contingent.
The first meeting of GBM and Sata had been much anticipated by the Zambian media community, as in recent weeks it has appeared that the president had sided behind Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba as the future leader of the party, possibly leaving the defence minister (who is Sata’s own nephew) vulnerable to prosecution on corruption charges.
Upon seeing Sata, GBM complimented him on his Air Force uniform: ”This is the most pleasing thing that I have ever seen, you look very nice,” he said.
However, President Sata was apparently displeased to see his minister. Speaking aside to his press aide George Chellah, President Sata said, “Have you told GBM that we have heard about his intentions to form his own party?”
When Chellah told GBM what Sata said, the Defence Minister rushed to deny any speculation that he was forming a new political party, telling the president that he would never make such a move.
President Sata ignored GBM’s response and walked on, concluding the much anticipated first meeting.