Former Defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba is next Monday expected to officially launch his candidature for the PF presidency.
And people in the ‘Team GBM’ have disclosed that the Kasama MP will demand that Edgar Lungu should quit his position as PF secretary general to attain neutrality among candidates. People supporting GBM say it is unfair for one of the candidates to be the one receiving nominations as he can easily vet those he feels will defeat him.
And PF secretary General Lungu appears to be giving up his insistence that the Central Committee should just endorse him as candidate and block any other person who wishes to challenge. People close to Lungu say he has grudgingly accepted to go to the convention as it has dawned on him that the convention will go ahead whether he likes it or not.
GBM will be the second member to announce his candidature after the ‘cartel’ candidate miles Sampa declared his intentions on Friday.
When he launched his candidature, the candidate for the Cartel Miles Sampa said:
“Those who judge people by their age, I have heard people saying ‘Miles is young’; they should know that at 44 years, I have done huge developmental projects in Matero that have benefited both the youth and indeed the much older citizens,” Sampa said.
Sampa said at no time did Sata anoint anyone as his successor. “Those playing the anointment song are wasting their time; they should rather urge their preferred candidates to campaign to the delegates,” he said. “If you want to stand as president, please put up your application. Don’t be cheated.”
He said the PF must go to the general conference as opposed to stealing the constitutional right of the grassroots to appoint a presidential candidate. “This view from the late president is evident in the PF constitution, where real power lies in the ability to elect a party president by the grassroots structures through the national conference and not in the top narrow structure of the central committee,” Sampa said. “That is why the assertion by some that they were anointed is a shame and embarrassing to the late president’s name… I saw the Minister of Information Dr Katema on TV barely an hour after burying the president falsely claiming that someone had been anointed. No wonder the late president called some of us ministers ‘useless’.” Sampa said he was amazed that Dr Katema found it prudent to go on TV to mislead people. “What a shame!” he said.