Some Patriotic Front leaders and ministers have started speculating that there maybe a Presidential bye-election any time and have started jostling and pimping themselves for succession, according to information given to the Watchdog by the OP.
The main sect is led by Information, Broadcasting and Tourism Minister, Given Lubinda who has been using the media to boost his image in the public eye and chances to succeed president Michael Sata.
Last week, the government owned and heavily controlled Daily Mail ran a story to the effect that some opposition leaders are going round telling people that president Sata has only a few months to live.
The Daily Mail reported that former PF secretary General Edward Mumbi was one of the people behind the circulation of the information. But the Watchdog has been informed that Mumbi has nothing to do with that but that the information is being circulated by PF senior officials and ministers. Sources say the story was planted in the Daily Mail by Lubinda to divert attention to Mumbi.
Information given to the Watchdog say that, as much as he has been making positive noises on media freedoms and reforms, Lubinda has been marshalling the media to cover him a lot more than other ministers and party leaders so that he is increasingly seen as the natural heir to President Michael Sata.
He appears to have cowered the two print media heads at Times of Zambia and Daily Mail into submission as they are seen going back and forth to the ministry for instruction every week.
There are other ministers, permanent secretaries and media heads who appears to have rubbed Lubinda and his co-conspirator at the ministry, Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga the wrong way.
They have thrown every arsenal at them to get them out but the president has refused to budge and ordered all haters and detractors to leave them alone.
This clique’s guns have also been trained on the president’s loyal special assistant for press and public relations, George Chellah for refusing to sing from their treasonous hymn sheet.
Through the influence of what is now loosely called the “Bwinjimfumu Government” for its links to the Post Newspaper, they managed to secrete one of their own, Amos Chanda as their mole and he has been the pigeon courier of many state house secrets back to Lubinda’s clique of plotters.
For instance Chanda took a delegation of Americans in the state house tunnels much to the dismay of state security personnel.
On another occasion he leaked vital information related to the anti-corruption fight and the Department of Foreign and International Development (DFID) of the British Government to people who had no business knowing about it.
He was seen frequenting Protea Hotel and when his friends asked him he was heard saying, “am organizing Muluzi’s business contacts…..he has not really come here to pay respects to the late presidents….he has come here for business but the president says he needs to send a fax of the details of people he wants to meet…”
Chanda has been doing his best to undermine his boss so that he can effectively take over when George Chellah is fired or removed. With the two vital Sata loyalists, Chellah and Chilaizya removed, they would effectively be running state house and have the president eating from the jaundiced palms.
Unfortunately for them, Sata is already aware of these schemes and been watching every one of their moves waiting for the right time to expose them.