By Wallen Simwaka, New York
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said that his hands are tied to consider re-admitting Miles Sampa into the Patriotic Front (PF) because the once UPND sympathiser and strong campaign official did and said a lot of things before leaving the governing party.
President Lungu said while he could have forgiven Mr Sampa and forgotten about how the former United Democratic Front (UDF) leader attacked the PF and the Presidency, he (President Lungu) could not dictate to the party to consider pardoning Mr Sampa.
President Lungu said Mr Sampa worked under him as deputy Minister but left voluntarily and that as PF president, he was answerable to the central committee.
Speaking to journalists after winding up his tour of duty in New York where he had gone to attend the United Nations General Assembly 71st Session, President Lungu said his focus was not who was joining or returning to the PF but begining to work to deliver what he had promised Zambians.
President Lungu stated he was not sure whether the PF had forgiven Mr Sampa after what he had said and done before and after resigning from the governing party to warrant his re-admission in the party.
The Head of State, however, stated that it was not automatic for people who had rebelled against him and the PF to be accepted in the ruling party and would, therefore, require going through party procedures.
President Lungu said the central committee of the PF would have to decide the fate of Mr Sampa who had launched a vigorous and slanderous campaign against the PF and the Head of State through the UPND.
The President said he was not interested in discussing Mr Sampa because he had moved on following his re-election in the last general elections and his focus was how best to meet the expectation of Zambians.
“Who is Miles Sampa? Please, leave me out of Sampa’s actions. If he is in the wilderness, let him go back to those who misled him and admonish them. For me, Mr Sampa is neither welcome nor forgiven because my hands are tied. The things he did and said before he left the PF. He is on record having said a lot of things and insulted me and the party. The truth is my eyes are on the ball and I cannot say whether the PF has forgiven or not,” President Lungu said.
On Monday, Mr Sampa wrote a letter to President Lungu and the PF confessing his political sins and that he had realised that he had been misled by some people to resign from the governing party.
Mr Sampa said he was remorseful over his actions and tendered an apology to President Lungu and the PF and all those he could have injured during the time he was campaigning for the UPND while attacking President Lungu.