ALLIANCE for Democracy and Development president Charles Milupi has said Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata is being fooled about popularity by the crowds of people who want to witness his comic character but should forget about winning this year’s presidential elections.
Mr Milupi said Mr Sata’s campaigns had been narrowed to his demand for change that is devoid of issues and warned that people who want entertainment at Mr Sata’s rallies should not be trusted because they would not vote for him.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Milupi said Mr Sata pulled the biggest crowds in 2006 and 2008 but lost the elections.
He said the people of Zambia attend every rally addressed by politicians but their correct views were only expressed when the time for voting comes.
He was aware that some cadres raise every symbol of political parties depending on who was addressing them.
It was not true that Mr Sata was popular because he would be coming out with the least number of votes in the same areas where he was addressing huge rallies.
“I remember in 2006 and 2008, Mr Sata was addressing what looked like seas of people but he lost. He had huge crowds even in Mongu itself but what happened when the time for voting came? They did not vote for him so people should not panic. Mr Sata is nowhere in Western Province,” Mr Milupi said.
He said if the huge rallies Mr Sata was addressing in Eastern, Western, Southern, Lusaka, Central and other areas were a reflection of his popularity, he (Mr Milupi) would have long withdrawn his candidature to avoid wasting resources.
Mr Milupi said he had just returned from a tour of Mongu, Kalabo, Senanga and others and that there was no sign of Mr Sata’s presence on the ground.
“The fact is that on the ground there is absolutely nothing. People go to attend Mr Sata’s rallies for entertainment because he does not have any programme for this country and people know.
People want issues beyond change but he is campaigning for change and not issues,” Mr Milupi said.
Mr Milupi said advocacy for change without issues would not go anywhere in the country because Zambians were intelligent.
He said ADD had focused its campaigns for change that would result in poverty alleviation and not change that would simply remove the Government from power without an agenda for the people.
“As ADD, we are not created to entertain people. Mr Sata is well covered by some media but these people will not vote for him. The people want improved governance and the addition to the wealth that has been created,” Mr Milupi said.
The ADD president said Mr Sata was failing to deal with issues each time he addresses public rallies but merely called for change without elaborating what programme he has for the people.
Meanwhile, former PF secretary general Edward Mumbi has said Mr Sata’s failure to pay a courtesy call on the Litunga confirmed the opposition leader’s hate for the Lozi King whom he planned to deregister in an event that he became president.
Mr Mumbi said in Lusaka yesterday Mr Sata’s hate for the Litunga was so bad that he vowed that he would have him deregistered if elected president.
Last month, Mr Mumbi told the Times that Mr Sata had confided in him when he was the party’s secretary general that he (Mr Sata) would have the Litunga deregistered if the PF came into power because the Litunga was allegedly boastful and thought he was also Republican president.
Mr Mumbi also disclosed that Mr Sata had plans to ban the Kuomboka traditional ceremony because it widely publicised the Litunga locally and internationally, thereby making the Lozi king look as if he was more popular than the president.
“You see I never knew that I will be vindicated so soon. When I tell the nation that this is what Mr Sata told me when I worked with him, people should not take it lightly.
“Mr Sata’s failure to pay a courtesy call on the Litunga just confirms that the man truly has no regard for the Lozi King. If you remember very well, I even challenged Mr Sata to come out and say I was lying or even to take me to court over this matter,” he said.
At the weekend, Mr Sata who was addressing rallies in Western Province snubbed the Litunga, the move which annoyed the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).
Mr Mumbi said Mr Sata had written to second Republican president Frederick Chiluba calling for the need to deregister the Litunga, Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba and Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni.
He said Mr Sata had no regard for the Zambian traditional values and that his behaviour had probably confirmed that he was not a Zambian but a Tanzanian as confirmed by his Chimwemwe Member of Paliament Willie Nsanda in November 2001.