The Patriotic Front (PF) has set aside K5 billion old currency (K5m PF money) for the MMD convention that will take place in March 2016.
The Watchdog has established that the PF has decided to grab MMD from Nevers Mumba, impose Lunte MP Felix Mutati as MMD president then appoint Mutati as running mate to Edgar Lungu for the 2016 polls.
In 2021, if Lungu wins the 2016 presidential election, Mutati will run as president with Petauke MP Dora Siliya as running mate. That is if Lungu will agree to step aside and not say he had only served one term so far.
The idea to hire Mutati is to try and forestall the declining support of the PF in the northern parts of the country. Internally, the PF admits that the entry of Kasama MP Geoffrey Mwamba (GBM) as UPND vice-president has done a lot of damage to what were PF strongholds under Michael Sata. So they think by brining in Mutati as running mate, he will be a direct counter force to GBM.
‘If there is one person the PF can kill right now, it is GBM, not HH,’ said a PF MP.
The PF has agreed that their vice president Inonge Wina adds no value to the party and in 2016 she will bringing nothing as she has no influence anywhere and that she will lose her own constituency Nalolo.
According to PF MPs who are unhappy with the move, the first phase of the plan was effected two weeks ago when Mutati was paid to convince other MMD MPs to support the constitutional amendment bill. The amendment bill seeks to legalise dual citizenship; provide for a 50-percent -plus-one vote threshold for the election of the President; and provide for the election of a vice-president as a running mate of a presidential candidate.
Other MMD MPs, including party president Nevers Mumba did not know why Mutati was urging others to support the PF on this issue. Now they know, hopefully. He was handsomely paid and he is the main beneficiary of the clause.
A week later, the PF gave back to the MMD 101 vehicles, which were confiscated by the Patriotic Front (PF) government in 2011. Late president Michael Sata was convinced that these vehicles were proceeds of crime.
It should be remembered that PF chairperson for media Sunday Chanda was the campaign, manager for Mutati when he lost the MMD presidency to Dr Mumba. So, Mutati has ‘boys’ right inside PF.
Dr Mumba and his supporters are naively celebrating the ‘return’ of these vehicles without realising that it is all part of the PF grand plan. Those vehicles will be used to campaign for Lungu and Mutati next year. The idea to return them now when Mumba is still president is to make sure that no questions would be asked when Lungu and Mutati start using them.
If Dr Mumba wants to test this, let the MMD executive meet now and resolve to sell those vehicles. That is when he will see how fast and mercilessly the PF and former president Rupiah Banda will deal with him.
As for Mr Banda, he is backing this deal because he has nothing more to give to Lungu in 2016.
PF sources say people like Chshimba Kamwbili who either have presidential ambitions or might oppose the idea have already been sorted out.
Kambwili was removed as PF youth chairman last week so his say in the executive or touch with PF agents has been severed. Besides Kamwbili is now ‘finished’ and no one even takes him seriously. His buffoonery has been fully exposed during the time he has served as government spokesperson. Kambwili may not even be adopted as parliamentary candidate in 2016. He has done very little in his constituency and his area has suffered massively in terms of job losses while he and his government have failed to mitigate the suffering. His only choice now is to lick Lungu’s boots, but even then, adopting Kambwili is risky to the ruling party as voters are dissatisfied.
As for Dr Mumba, he should start courting days. The PF helped him to block Rupiah Banda from taking over the party during the last presidential elections because it was in their interest to prevent Banda from standing. But this time, the PF judges will rule against Dr Mumba if he goes to court.
On Behalf of the PF regime, Mutati is currently in Egypt leading a SADC delegation.