After violent succession battles and humiliating defeats in by-elections, the Patriotic Front is today expected to hold its central committee meeting to discuss, among other things, the endorsement of President Michael Sata for the 2016 general elections.
The endorsement debate has been raging for many weeks and last week the debate reached its violent climax when pro-Sata 2016 cadres openly revolted against their secretary general Wynter Kabimba who they accused of working with Post Newspaper owner Fred M’membe and President Michael Sata’s press aide George Chellah to unseat the President.
Source within the ruling party have told the Daily Nation that the meeting had been called after it became apparent that some senior party officials have been scheming to unseat President Sata long before his first term of office expires.
The source said some senior party members would move a motion to expel Justice Minister Kabimba along with Lusaka Province PF chairman Geoffrey Chumbwe, his district chairman Goodson Banda and provincial youth chairman Kennedy Kamba among others.
There will also be a motion that Minister of Defence Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba who launched the endorsement campaign for President Sata as the sole candidate for the 2016 elections should be reinstated in his position as PF elections chairman, the position that is currently being held by Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo.
The ‘Sata for 2016’ are also expected to demand that former Eastern Province PF chairman Lucas Mwale should gets back his position and that Masebo be kicked out of the central committee because she was allegedly against President Sata running for a second term.
The source said there shall be a proposal that Kabwata member of parliament Given Lubinda should be given a position in the central committee.
The source said the ruling party had been deeply divided by Kabimba and his clique because of their plans to hound out President Sata from party presidency.
The source explained the party blamed Kabimba for the humiliating loss in Mkaika where the former ruling party won with a landslide.
The insider said the PF youths who have been campaigning for the endorsement of President Sata have even bought a mock coffin that would be carried to the venue where the central committee meeting would be taking place.
The source explained that the position of the youths was that whoever was against the endorsement of President Sata was against the party and should therefore be expelled from the party.
The official said time had come for President Sata to show that he was in-charge by comprehensively dealing with what they termed as traitors in the ruling party adding that failure by the head of state to take a decisive action against Kabimba would spell doom to the party.“Mudala, we are having a central committee tomorrow (today) and what we are demanding is that the secretary general, Wynter Kabimba must be expelled from the party with immediate effect. We also want defence minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwmba should get back his position as party elections chairman which is currently being held by Sylvia Masebo. Kabimba, Masebo, Geoffrey Chumbwe, Goodson Banda and Kennedy Kamba are not wanted in the party. We are blaming Kabimba for the loss in Mkaika because he has caused a lot of confusion by working with some newspapers to scheme against the President, the source said.The PF has been embroiled in a power struggle with one group led by Mwamba endorsing President Sata as the sole candidate for the 2016 elections while the other faction led by Kabimba has come out strongly against the endorsement.President Sata has since the intra-party skirmishes remained silent and the members are hoping that the head of state would put the matter to rest by taking action against those perceived to be working against him.It remains doubtful however that the meeting would take place as the secretary general who is the chief executive of the party was reportedly out of Lusaka.