A SECRET document outlining a shadow cabinet of an opposition Patriotic Front (PF) government after next year’s general elections has surfaced, but conspicuously missing from the list are names of leaders from pact partners, the United Party for National Development (UPND).
Also missing from the list of cabinet members in the unlikely event that the PF comes to power is prominent PF spokesperson and Kabwata member of Parliament (MP) Given Lubinda whose voice in the recent past has slowly fizzled out, adding credence to widely held speculation that he has fallen out of favour as one of the few that PF president Michael Sata considers part of his inner circle.
The two leaders of the shaky PF-UPND pact, Mr Sata and Hakainde Hichilema, whose party ideologies are poles apart, have from time to time irreverently taken swipes at each other.
This latest development also brings to the head months of conjecture and bickering by factions from both the PF and the UPND who have publicly stated to their leaders that the “marriage of convenience” was unworkable, fragile and devoid of the blessings of strong grassroots support that the pact should have been anchored on.
According to the document obtained in Lusaka, Mr Sata, apart from being the shadow president, has also allocated himself the portfolio of Minister of Defence and Security and that of Local Government and Housing.
Prominent on the list of would-be ministers are PF secretary-general Wynter Kabimba as Vice-President, Mandevu MP Jean Kapata, who has been allocated the Ministry of Home Affairs and Willie Nsanda as Minister of Transport.
Others are prominent Lusaka businessman Geoffrey Mwamba popularly known as GBM, who has been allocated the Ministry of Gender, while Chipili PF MP Davis Mwila is tipped to be minister of Foreign Affairs.
Roan MP Chishimba Kambwili is slated to be the Minister of Finance and National Planning, while PF vice-president and Lusaka Central MP Guy Scott has been allocated the Ministry of Agriculture.
Outspoken UPND Copperbelt youth chairman Paul Kalusa has been positioned to be Minister of Youth and Sport.
A named businessman with links in banking circles is being tipped for the job of Bank of Zambia governor.
When contacted, Mr Kabimba said he would comment on the matter through another media organisation after the Zambia Daily Mail had published the article on the document.
“Just publish what you have. We will tell other media organisations after you publish the article. We will give you the response through other media houses,” he said.
Mr Sata could not be reached for a comment as he was not reachable by press time.
UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma said he could not comment on the matter and that the question should be directed to the PF who are said to be the authors of the document.
“We don’t know about it (document). The PF itself should explain why they have done that if at all it is true,” he said.
And the MMD said the document is a wake-up call for Mr Hichilema to heed advice from lower organs of the party to form a pact with the ruling party.
Acting national secretary Chembe Nyangu said in an interview yesterday that going by what has been published in the Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia in recent days, the party has deduced that the PF-UPND pact no longer exists.
“They just pretend that they are still together. They have gone separate ways. It is each one for himself and God for us all. Let UPND come out of slumber and do what the lower organs of the party are advising,” he said.
Mr Nyangu said most UPND members are calling for a political alliance between MMD and UPND because on its own, the latter remains a regional political party.
“We have given them an olive branch to work with us. PF is a secretive party and Mr Sata is selfish as can be seen from his plans to hold three positions,” he said.
Mr Nyangu accused Mr Sata of using Mr Hichilema to gain political mileage. He said this is a sad development because Mr Sata wants to ‘kill’ the opposition by using Mr Hichilema.
Chief Chikanta of Southern Province said he is not surprised that such a thing has happened and that it is an indication of worse things to come.
“That is why we have been saying the pact cannot work. What has happened is a confirmation that the young man (Hichilema) has been hoodwinked. He should get out of the pact with PF and join MMD. If he delays, he will go it alone and will have very little time to campaign,” he said.
Forum for Leadership Search executive director Edwin Lifwekelo said his organisation also had information about Mr Sata’s shadow cabinet.
Mr Lifwekelo said the real story is that UPND is a horse while PF is the rider in the pact. He said UPND does not have foresight in terms of leadership and cannot see the deceit of the PF leader.
“If I were Mr Hichilema, I would quickly withdraw from the pact. So, unless UPND moves out of the pact, they are going nowhere because they are being ridden by the PF,” he said.
Courtesy of Daily Mail