President Michael Sata has offered to appoint UPND vice-president Canicius Banda as PF minister of Health.
State House senior officials have told the Watchdog that the clandestine meeting between Sata and Dr Banda was solely to discuss the appointment.
Dr Canicius Banda, a very close friend of Sata’s wife Christine Kaseba sneaked into State House a few weeks ago without saying anything to his colleagues in UPND before or after the meeting.
He has since refused to say what he went to do but only said he trusts the office of the republican president. Dr Banda and Dr Kaseba worked together at UTH and it was Kaseba who convened the meeting.
According to State House officials, Dr Banda agreed in principle to take up the offer but his worry was how to announce the betrayal to his party.
Sata, being the chief of confusion, leaked the meeting to UPND knowing fully well that UPND would react angrily.
‘So State House leaked that information to UPND because we knew that UPND will expel him then he will look as if he is the victim,’ said a State House senior staff.
The Watchdog has been told that current Minister of health Dr Joseph Mwenya Kasonde, an uncle of Kaseba, will be asked to retire or will be sent into foreign Service.
Dr Kasonde’s nomination as MP will be revoked as Sata will nominate Canicius Banda as MP and appoint him minister.
But there is another obstacle to Dr Banda. As a losing candidate in the last general elections, he is statutory barred to be nominated as MP. So he could find himself as Permanent Secretary.
But when did Sata start following the constitution?
But why Dr Canicius Banda? Sources say his appointment will serve two purposes. The first one will be to destabilize UPND and the second one will be to try and woe Eastern province voters. PF has so far failed to win any seats in Eastern Province.
“UPND has made Dr Banda politically as you know when he was in MMD he lost as MP toJean Kapata in Mandevu but now the UPND has sold him well such that he is big name,’ another source explained.
Once UPND expels Dr Banda, he will have good ‘reason’ to accept the appointment.