According to groups that have so far received the money, MMD senior party officials received 500 million Kwacha this week from State House on Monday to buy out former Works and Supply minister Lameck Mangani’ supporters ahead of this afternoon’s official defection to the opposition Patriotic Front.
A youth group representative identified as Luka Tembo told the Watchdog youths and women have been put into groups to receive money.
“We were just called that there is money in the MMD office at Kapata bus station in one of those rooms for CR carriers, we were given one million Kwacha to mobilize other youths and women and we were told not to attend Mangani’s defection because we will embarrass the President and the MMD leadership in the province,” Tembo said.
Another beneficiary Catherine Zulu briefed the Watchdog that the MMD leadership is panicking over Mangani’s defection this afternoon, adding that people will receive and eat the gifts from President Banda but know what to do.
Zulu said the people of Chipata are not bitter with President Banda but are just tired of the ruling MMD.
“People here want change of government, they are not interested in the MMD anymore and Mangani has just made a good decision at the last minute, yes he is a factor here especially in Chipata central people still want him but not on the MMD ticket,” said Zulu.
Zulu also said the people of Chipata were patiently waiting to listen to all political players before they could decide which President to vote for.
“People are also looking at Hichilema, they are saying maybe a young leader can move things, as you can see our young people here spend nights at taxi ranks pirating because there are no jobs here, no industries to talk about, so any President who will talk about job creation and show that he can change the way young people are suffering will get support from here,” said Zulu.
And MMD this morning collected trunks of fitenge materials carrying President Rupiah Banda’s portrait to distribute to would be defectors from the opposition PF at the market.
MMD provincial chairperson Kennedy Zulu told the Watchdog that the ruling party is still strong and popular despite Mangani leaving the party.
“We are going to receive defectors here today from the PF that is why you have seen these materials, we shall meet Mangani in the battle field because he has betrayed the people of Chipata and has to suffer the consequences of his actions,” said Zulu.