Succession wrangles heighten in view of Sata’s failing health

Succession wrangles heighten in view of Sata’s failing health

MinistersWith the continued deteriorating health of dictator Michael Sata, the ruling PF wrangles have deepened with senior government and party leaders resorting to name calling.

Defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba  (GBM) who launched Sata’s ‘2016 presidential re election’ in Kasama about a fortnight ago resounded his statement in Mongu yesterday and called other members campaigning as being stupid.

“We are concerned that our members have already started campaigning two years into government… President Sata is still in power and has not started grooming his successor because he has long way to go,” said GBM.

Earlier last week the cartel holding Sata hostage and intending to have him replaced with Wynter Kabmba described Mwamba and others making declarations of Sata as sole presidential candidate for 2016 as ignorant, according to Lusaka province PF chairperson and cartel agent Geoffrey Chuumbwe.

Chuumbwe’s statement received harsh reaction from GBM’s 2011 parliamentary campaign manager Nathan Ilunga who said Chuumbwe must be tamed before he destroys the PF because of his continued insulting of senior party members just to please his pay masters.

Ceremonial vice president Guy Scott who represented Sata at the SADC meeting in Malawi said he was not impressed with the endorsement of Sata as sole candidate.

“I am not very impressed, I mean shouldn’t be focused on the 2016 elections, we should be focused on implementing the party manifesto… people who are doing that (declaration) maybe don’t have things to do,” he said.

But reliable sources from the PF have told the Watchdog that there is uncertainty on succession and that GBM’s declaration is aimed at blocking the ambitions of the cartel comprising Post editor Mmembe, DPP Mutembo Nchito, Tourism Minister Sylvia Murambiwa Masebo and Justice minister Wynter Kabimba.

According to the source, Sata who has collapsed twice in the last three weeks may not be medically fit to recontest the seat or in the event that he fails to complete his term, the cartel wants to replace him with Kabimba or Masebo.

The cartel is said to be using under hand methods and recently lied to Sata that GBM was behind the Bemba chiefs’ defiance of Sata’s dethroning of Chief Mwamba (Henry Sosala) who the royal establishment went ahead and installed as chief Chitimukulu. Mwamba himself is a subject of Chitimukulu and enjoys a good relationship with the Bemba royal establishment.

The cartel accuses GBM of sugar coating his presidential ambitions with the ‘Sata declaration’ and wants GBM out of the system.

This revealation is said to have angered Sata but he is undecided on what to do with GBM as any disciplinary action on GBM would mean total collapse of the PF among the Bemba people which is the party’s stronghold.

“The Wynter group has framed up GBM but the President does not know what to do because GBM cannot be touched as that would mean total collapse of PF among the Bemba, it is not a simple puzzle coz GBM has the financial muscle,” said the well placed source.

When Sata collapsed and fainted last week on Monday, Mwamba and other relatives of Sata like Finance minister rushed to State House where they ordered soldiers to surround State House and ZNBC.

This was one clear demonstration of where power lies. Kabimba and his group where no where near State House even though that was the moment the most important decision would have made had Sata died. Even Home Affairs Edgar Lungu who also, in his dreams, thinks he is one of the anointed ones was not invited.

A millitary source explained to the Watchdog that the idea was to swear in Geoffrey Mwamba immediately and declare a state of emergency; and that is why even ZNBC was surrounded.

Ideally and according to the constituion, the vice-president should automatically take over when the president dies but current vice president Guys Scott is ceremonial and is not eligible to hold the office of president. That is why he has never acted as president when Sata is out.

As things stand, it is open and any of the ministers can take it provided he garners enough supporters from his fellow ministers since it would be cabinet to decide.

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