In a bid to increase the number of seats in the national asembly, the ruling PF is panicking over the forthcoming Kapiri Mposhi by election scheduled for 23rd April and has todate not come up with a candidate.
And some PF MPs who are still back benchers have expressed displeasure with President Sata’s continued appointment of opposition MPs to cabinet positions leaving them out and have threatened to stop funding party activities in their constituencies.
Initially the party had shortlisted 7 candidates for the seat that fell vacant following the supreme court’s nullification of the MMD elected candidate Lawrence Zimba, who is most likely to recontest on the UPND ticket but now the list has grown to 11 who were interviewed at the Kabwe civic centre on Sunday. Among the latest inclusions on the list are Kabwe lawyer Tutwa Ngulube and Midah Matatila, widow of late diplomat in the Chiluba reign Peter Matatila.
Sources close to the central committe told the Zambian watchdog that the party had wanted to field Eddie Musonda who was beaten by Zimba in 2011 but after detailed analysis, he was ruled out. “The party resolved that those who succesfully petition the 2011 election results shall be re-adopted if not given appointments in the civil service but it looks like Zimba is a stronger candidate for him (Musonda) so they decided to cast the net wider and we suspect they will pick amongst the new inclusions,” said the source.
The source further disclosed that PF’s cadre minister Jean Kapata has been sent to go and study the situation on the ground on behalf of the central committee as they have to come up with a candidate by end Tuesday 18:00hrs in readiness for filing in of nomination papers this Thursday. An officials from Kapata’s office also comfirmed in an interview that Kapata was out of station.
Meanwhile some PF MPs have complained that the people ruling Sata are only concerned about their pockets by giving cabinet appointments to opposition MPS at their expense. They said they spent alot of money during the campaigns and were hopeful that they would be appointed at least to be deputy minister’s in the PF government but the opposite has happened.
“We used our personal resources in most of the campaigns and after we won with few seats we were assured that at least the majority of us would be given positions, but this was not the case, and they expect us to continue supporting party activities in our constituencies it is very unfair the people controlling the president must not just think of their personal interests,” angrily complained one MP.
The PF instructed their MPs to donate KR2,000 for the youth day celebrations but the activity was marred by absenteeism mostly in constituencies where MPs are not at cabinet as they objected to the central committee instruction.
The watchdog carried a story of PF youths in Kabwe who had threatened to boycott the celebrations until after central province minister Philip Kosamu donated some party regalia and extra money to the youths for a paltry of them to participate.