Over 20 cabinet and deputy ministers in the Patriotic Front government have formed a breakaway party after falling out of favour with President Michael Sata.
They are also disillusioned by President Sata’s apparent elevation of his son Mulenga who seems destined to take over from him in 2016.
One of the officials tasked to mobilize members for a yet to be registered political party said that 12 meetings so far have been held to strategize the birth of the party and over 20 ministers and deputy ministers have agreed to leave PF.
But when contacted for a comment PF national chairperson Inonge Wina refused to comment on the matter saying she was not aware about the break away party.
“I will not comment on that because I am not aware about that breakaway party. I have no information about it,” said Ms. Wina who is also Nalolo PF Member of Parliament.
However, officials said that 12 consultative meetings have taken place in Chongwe, Chisamba, Kafue, Kitwe and Lusaka where it was resolved that a new party should be formed to take over from the PF in 2016.
The official observed that the named ministers and deputy ministers and other PF senior officials among them Members of Parliament who felt let down by President Sata, were of the view of joining the MMD but that the leadership wrangles that have characterized the former ruling party were not inspiring a new membership.
“We have also resolved to start contributing funds towards the formation of our party. It is a breakaway party from the PF. We are not happy, we labored for the PF and its like people who contributed nothing are the ones benefiting more by taking lies to the President and receiving favours,” said the official.
The source said that senior PF officials in Chipata were also frustrated because they felt that President Michael Sata had allowed a spirit of tribalism, nepotism and segregation in the party which has created serious divisions and misunderstandings among party members.
“We have had the anti-Wynter Kabimba and anti-GBM groups in the PF. We have had people like Chishimba Kambwili who feel that he is being fought on the basis of tribe. We have had people like Sylvia Masebo who feels that her dismissal was as a result of a scheme to hound her out of the PF by her enemies. So all these issues and many others have resulted in us wanting to form a party that will unite all these factions,” said the official.
The official who spoke on anonymously said that the general membership was also not happy with the assumption created by the PF leadership that Mulenga Sata was the next president of the party and subsequently the candidate for 2016.
“There are people who have worked so hard for this party and seeing Mulenga Sata who is President Sata’s son being treated as if he is already president of the PF has contributed to the division and the subsequent formation of the new party whose name will be made public soon,” said the official.The official observed that the general membership of the party was of the view that the PF in its current form would not win the election in 2016 and allowing him (President Sata) to continue at the realm of the PF was disastrous and uninspiring.The official also said that Mr Kabimba and Vice President Guy Scott had failed to co-ordinate the party, adding that failure to address the concern Zambians were raising over the constitution making process would make it impossible for the PF to sell its candidates in 2016.
“Right now as I am talking to you, I am from a meeting at one of the Ministers office and We have dispatched a team of senior PF officials to visit Western Province and see which people we can work with from that region in order to give Zambia a formidable team,” said the official.