I deserved to be Cabinet minister, says Sampa


“IF President Michael Sata was still alive today I would be a full Cabinet minister by now,” Democratic Front (DF) leader Miles Sampa said yesterday at his residence in Lusaka.

Speaking at a press briefing, Mr Sampa said he was a hard working MP who deserved to be a full Cabinet minister but that President Edgar Lungu could not see his potential and sacrifice for the ruling Patriotic Front party.

He said President Sata did not believe in spoon-feeding but hard work and that was why he (Sampa) remained a deputy minister during that time.

Mr Sampa said after the January elections he was ripe for a full Cabinet position having agreed to campaign for President Lungu.

“If I wanted I would have decided to stand on DF ticket as a presidential candidate and Edgar Lungu would have lost to UPND but I agreed to support him. I even gave him money for campaigns,” Mr Sampa said.

He said after the contentious PF convention in Kabwe ahead of the January 20, 2015 presidential by-election, he and President Lungu agreed on ‘‘something’’ during a meeting called by Catholic bishops but President Lungu allegedly failed to honour the agreement.

Mr Sampa failed to disclose what they agreed on with President Lungu at the church-sponsored talks which apparently had to do with his position in the party or Government.

Meanwhile, Mr Sampa said the Democratic Front and the United Party for National Development (UPND) were currently discussing terms and conditions of an alliance ahead of the August 11 general election.

“We have just opened the doors for discussions; for now what is true is that we have entered into an alliance with UPND,” Mr Sampa said.

Mr Sampa said no conditions so far have been agreed between him and the UPND leadership but confirmed that they were both still engaged in talks.

Mr Sampa said he would now never attack UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and UPND because they were now friends and allies.

Mr Sampa said the talks between DF and UPND were internal and would be communicated to the press once concluded and the alliance was based on what he thought late President Sata would have done.

He said having learnt from late President Sata’s school of politics, he recalled that the late president at one point went into an alliance with the UPND.

And Mr Sampa said his decision and that of former Vice President Guy Scott to support the UPND in the forthcoming elections guarantees President Lungu’s first-round defeat.

He said the ruling PF has realized that he (Sampa) was more popular than President Lungu especially on the Copperbelt and that was why his political activities in the region were allegedly restricted by the PF.

Mr Sampa described as fake yesterday’s purported defections of his party members to the ruling PF. He said the purported defections were a sign of desperation on the part of the ruling PF.

He challenged the PF to produce certificates of appointment of those it was claiming have defected from DF.

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