…as ruling party says no mass defections

HOSTILE media should not be allowed to dictate events in the Patriotic Front (PF), secretary general Davis Chama has said.

Mr. Chama, who was speaking on the standoff between Matero MP  Miles Sampa and his constitutency officials, said he did not want to allow himself to play in to the hands of some hostile media houses whose agenda was well-known but would rather wait until Mr Sampa had made his position clear.

Early this week Mr  Sampa was quoted as stating that he was tired of squabbles in the  party because the people who supported him in the  run- up to the presidential contest in January last year were being  persecuted.

On Monday his supporters announced that if Mr. Sampa left the party they would also leave.

However Matero constituency officials disowned the statement and challenged disgruntled members to leave because the PF was strong and had withstood the departure of many other members who considered themselves indispensable.  Matero constituency chairman Crispin Kabwe said the party did not need hypocrites who were always coniving with the opposition.

He was reacting to Mr Sampa’s supporters who alleged that PF members would follow him if the Matero parliamentarians formed his party. “The sentiments by Miles Sampa’s supporters that PF will die when he forms his own party were not true because from the word go even in January when we had by-elections, we were not with him. As PF we will continue to work even without him,” Mr Kabwe said. He said the party did the campaigns without any help from Mr Sampa but managed to defend their leadership.

Mr Kabwe urged Mr Sampa to leave the party peacefully if he wanted to go but warned that nobody would follow him.

He explained that in politics one did not have to destroy where he was coming from, adding that the PF had built many people including Mr Sampa.

We are here and we are not going anywhere, we have always been here, when he (Sampa) came he found the PF, so if he wants to go let him go,” Mr Kabwe warned.

He said if he did not want to work with the PF no one was going to force him.

The chairman said he was not surprised that the Matero Constituency MP was making such threats because he had at one time threatened to join the oppositionUnited Party for National Development( UPND) if he was not adopted as MP.

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