VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott has rendered himself irrelevant and unusable in the Patriotic Front (PF) by refusing to reconcile with Edgar Lungu who is the candidate in the coming presidential election, Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata has charged.
And Foreign Affairs minister Harry Kalaba has said it was unfortunate that Dr Scott could misconstrue their reconciliation efforts as an act of desperation and panic by PF president Edgar Lungu whom he said was enjoying massive popularity across the country.
Ms Kapata said it was not a sign of weakness for the ministers to have approached Dr Scott to reconcile with the party and that it was unfortunate that the Vice-President decided to run to his newspaper to twist the facts about what truly transpired.
Ms Kapata said Dr Scott should know and accept that the popularity Mr Lungu was enjoying did not depend of whether the Vice-President was going to join the campaign team because the PF was still the most popular political party as a result of what it had achieved in the last three years.
Ms Kapata said the PF was aware that it was Dr Scott’s desire to ensure that Mr Lungu lost the presidential election after all his schemes to impose a candidate of his choice on the PF were thwarted by the collective massive support from the party leadership as well as the general membership.
She said Dr Scott had become irrelevant in the PF and that the party did not care whether the Vice-President kept all his helicopters and other facilities because the ruling party had a lot of well-wishers that had made it possible to be where it currently was.
Ms Kapata said it was not true that ministers were pleading with Dr Scott to start campaigning for Mr Lungu but that it was the desire of the leaders to preach reconciliation and forgiveness to the Vice-President who had since decided to arrogantly refuse unity and peace.
She said since Dr Scott had decided to be hostile and antagonistic towards the PF presidential candidate, it was time the Vice-President stayed away from the ruling party because it had become clear that he was working against the interests of the party and its general membership.
“When we went to see Dr Scott after the Cabinet meeting, we did not go there to plead for his support. We asked him to join the Edgar Lungu campaign team in the spirit of reconciliation and since he has decided to go to his best newspaper to twist the facts, let him know that he has declared himself irrelevant to the PF.
Ms Kapata also rubbished assertions that the PF had hired cadres from Lusaka and Copperbelt to attend the Mansa rally stating that the people of Luapula were happy to receive Mr Lungu who they had promised a 100 percent vote.
And Mr Kalaba has described reports that panic had gripped Mr Lungu and was therefore sending emissaries to Dr Scott pleading for his support as total fabrication and a figment of imagination by those who were bitter at the election of Mr Lungu as PF president.
Mr Kalaba said Mr Lungu since his election as PF president had been preaching peace, unity and reconciliation in the PF and that he (Kalaba) and Ms Kapata had approached Dr Scott in the spirit of unity and not to plead for his support. Mr Kalaba said it was unfortunate that Dr Scott had continued frustrating the efforts of other leaders to bring all members together so that the party could move in one direction.
“I am shocked that there are insinuations that we are desperate for the support of Dr Scott in this campaign. Mr Lungu as president of the PF has been preaching peace, unity and reconciliation and told Dr Scott to reflect on his antagonistic and hostile attitude towards the party and Mr Lungu. It would appear that Dr Scott is not interested in the affairs of the PF and we are not surprised that he has been scheming to have the PF removed from government. We now know his position and we are going to treat him as such,” Mr Kalaba said.