Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba has denied reports that he was in Eastern Province to seek Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s support for his presidential ambitions.
Mr Kabimba said at no time did he tell Paramount Chief Mpezeni that President Sata had anointed him to take over the presidency of the PF after the expiry of Mr Sata’s presidential term.
Both Mr Kabimba and Paramount Chief Mpezeni have denied ever having such a conversation and have described reports as nothing but an attempt to cause confusion in the party.
But sources from Eastern Province have told the Daily Nation that Mr Kabimba had a meeting with Mpezeni at which he allegedly told the traditional leader that he was going to take over the presidency of the PF and needed the support of the traditional leadership.
The sources said some people who were part of the meeting when Mr Kabimba paid a courtesy call on Paramount Chief Mpezeni alleged that the Justice Minister told the traditional leader that he was the heir to the PF president and needed the support of the traditional leadership in Eastern Province.
The sources said Mr Kabimba went to see Paramount Chief Mpezeni without his Eastern Province PF chairman Lameck Mangani who has been accused by the Justice Minister of sponsoring a group of youths called Jimbos allegedly causing terror in the region.
The sources said Mr Kabimba had caused a lot of confusion in Eastern Province by openly attacking Mr Mangani and that the PF would have a lot of difficulties to win the support of the region in any election.
Mr Mangani when contacted refused to comment on anything saying he would rather wait to meet President Sata and Mr Kabimba to resolve the issues without involving the media.
“Why is it that some other media houses are not reporting what Mr Kabimba told Paramount Chief Mpezeni that he is going to take over from President Sata. He went to see the chief in the absence of the Provincial chairman Lameck Mangani and was canvassing for support and the chief told him that he would get his support because he (Mpezeni) is a strong supporter of the PF and President Sata,” the source said. Mr Kabimba when contacted refused having had such a conversation with Paramount Chief Mpezeni and challenged the reporter to ask the traditional leader if he ever said he was the heir to the PF presidency. ‘I do not want to talk about that. Get to the Chief and ask him if we had such a conversation. I do not want to answer general questions about people claiming I have presidential ambitions just get what Paramount Chief Mpezeni has told you. There are no insinuations here unless you do not understand English,” Mr Kabimba said.
And Paramount Chief Mpezeni said Mr Kabimba was not asking for his personal support but for the party and President Sata and that as a traditional leader, he had no problems supporting the party in power.
Paramount Chief Mpezeni denied having been asked by Mr Kabimba to support his presidential ambitions stating that it was not correct for people to accuse the Justice Minister of habouring presidential ambiations.
The traditional leader said he was supporting Kabimba not as an individual but as a senior member of the PF government adding that the Justice Minister only talked about supporting President Sata.