THE behaviour of some Patriotic Front senior members clearly shows that some people see the death of President Michael Sata as an opportunity to succeed him and not as a loss, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Pukuta Mwanza has charged.
Reverend Mwanza said the PF leaders should immediately address the succession problem as it had the potential of disrupting the funeral proceedings.
He said from the time the news of the death of President Sata was announced, Zambians have witnessed the most unfavourable developments in the ruling party.
“This must not be entertained. The leaders should address this problem because it has serious potential to disrupt the funeral proceedings. As a church, we are deeply saddened with such conduct and also that some individuals are starting to express their interest to run for Presidency in the Patriotic Front during this mourning period,” Rev Mwanza said.
He said although the interested persons were free to exercise their democratic right to contest any public office that may fall vacant, what was shocking was the level of interest and speed at which such interests were being expressed.
Rev Mwanza said it was disappointing that some expression of interest was disrespectful to the deceased and that the timing was totally incorrect as this was done during the mourning period.
“Where do the party members get the strength to talk about who should become the next President before the body is interred, and how do they attract sympathy from other people who want to stop doing anything else in order to identify themselves with this tragic loss? How do others mourn a bereavement that is not considered serious by those closest to the deceased?” he asked.
Rev Mwanza said the sympathy messages that were sent by the general public, including the leaders of the political parties’ demonstrated patriotism and maturity in putting aside their strong political differences in order to unite in mourning the late President.
The clergyman said there was a huge responsibility that rests on the ruling party to demostrate tolerance, unity and stability.
“Campaigns can wait and the people of Zambia have been patient enough to wait for the official notification of the date of the Presidential by-elections at which time those seeking to contest the presidency will be free to campaign within the confines of the law,” he said.