By Bright Chikele:
BUSINESS in Kasama yesterday came to a complete halt as thousands of people trooped to the Kasama Golf Course where President Edgar Lungu held a mass rally to conclude his marathon campaign trail of the Northern Province.
Addressing the rally, President Lungu said United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration Geoffrey Mwamba left the Patriotic Front (PF) to join the opposition because he saw it as an opportunity to take over the leadership of the party after the general elections.
He said Mr. Mwamba’s machinations and lies that he was among the founder members of the PF were baseless because he only came on the scene in 2009, three years after he lost in Kabwata to Given Lubinda.
He said the huge turnout at yesterday’s mega rally was testimony that Mr. Mwamba was not a factor in Kasama and that his claims of popularity were only imagined and misguided.
“When we formed the party in 2001, Michael Sata told us that our party needed to address the challenges of ordinary people and Mr Mwamba was not there. He only came to PF in 2009 after losing the 2006 elections to Mr. Lubinda but he is coming here to cheat you that he was the founder member.
“He wanted to succeed Mr Sata even before his tenure expired but late president told him he was not in order and that is how he resigned from his ministerial position while accusing Mr. Sata of victimising Paramount chief Chitimukulu. He has now gone to the UPND because he wants to take over the UPND because he knows that Hakainde Hichilema is losing,” President Lungu said.
He said Mr Mwamba’s obsession for power had heightened his hatred for him because he had failed to come to terms with the reality that he (Lungu) was the Head of State.
President Lungu said Mr Mwamba was among the prophets of doom who claimed he (president Lungu) would never win a presidential election because he was just a common man from Chawama.
“Leading people comes at God’s time. It has nothing to do with the money you have. Leadership is about wisdom and as PF we are here to give quality leadership that enhances development,” President Lungu said.
He also advised independent parliamentary candidates in Kasama central and Lukashya constituencies who were campaigning using the PF to stop misleading people and urged the electorate not to listen to them because they were liars.
And speaking at the same function, First Lady Esther Lungu said she was amazed by the numbers of people who had attended the rally because she was getting mixed reports about the status of the PF’s strength in Kasama.
Meanwhile, MMD president Felix Mutati said there was need for Zambians to give another mandate to the PF government because it had achieved a lot in the short time it had been in power.