By Nation Reporter
MULENGA Sata has defected from the Patriotic Front (PF) to join the UPND because he has been frustrated for not getting preferential treatment from President Edgar Lungu as the son of late president Michael Sata, the founder of the PF.
Mr Sata has accused President Lungu of having embarked on a ‘‘systematic crusade to change the entire composition and complexion’’ of the Michael Sata PF which he claimed has seen the purging and weeding out of the original members of the party.
Mr Sata, who was until yesterday Lusaka Province minister, former Lusaka mayor and deputy minister at State House said it was clear that his father’s ideals and those of the original members of the PF had been abandoned and left by the wayside.
He said it had become ‘‘abundantly clear and indisputable’’ that the MMD had allegedly taken over the PF ‘‘using the very personalities who were the most critical’’ of President Sata.
As a result his conscience could not allow him to continue being part of a system that demonised and despised his late father.
“When I was appointed Lusaka Province minister, I should have been sworn in within the next few days, according to the provisions of the amended Constitution. But I was made to wait and during the process of my moving from State House and collecting my personal effects, I went to State House and strangely, I was asked whom I had gone to see,” Mr Sata said.
Mr Sata said that some of the MMD members who were now ministers in the PF government hated his father to the extent that they tore to pieces the late President’s state-of-the-nation address to Parliament while others even showed ‘‘grand disrespect’’ towards his father by raising their middle finger.
He said the actions of some of the former MMD members who were now serving in the PF government had injured him as a son of President Sata, stating that the morale in the ruling party had dropped to an all-time low.
Mr Sata said he was hurt that the former MMD members who verbally abused his father had now formed part of the inner circle of President Lungu and had become the ‘‘command centre’’ of the PF, the party they allegedly detested, loathed and despised.
“Morale in the PF is at an all-time low and the truth of the matter is that PF is no longer what it was and what it was meant to be. I have left the PF to the hijackers. It has been a tough, emotional and extremely difficult decision to make but it is a necessary act for the benefit and unity of the country.
‘‘It appears that there is a systematic crusade to change the entire complexion and composition of the PF through a process of weeding out the original members who have been kicked out of the party and replaced by the MMD. It is abundantly clear and indisputable that the MMD has taken over the PF,” Mr Sata said.
Mr Sata claimed that the UPND under the leadership of Hakainde Hichilema was the only political organisation which had answers to the country’s current economic and social challenges.
Mr Sata accused some Cabinet ministers and Government officials of getting involved in corrupt activities and alleged that some officials working with President Lungu were more interested in cutting deals than serving the citizens.