Patriotic Front Chipata Central losing candidate Lameck Mangani has said the ruling party’s secretary general Wynter Kabimba has the right to aspire for any position in his party.
Mangani has, however, cautioned the senior leaders in the PF against falling to the temptation of using the euphoria created by the cadres that the PF could be sustained without President Michael at the helm.
Mangani told the Daily Nation in an interview that there was nothing wrong for any member of the ruling party to aspire for leadership because intra-party democracy was important for the growth of any political party.
Mangani who is the former home affairs minister in the MMD government said the tension that was in the ruling party and the country in general was being exaggerated.
He said the PF had been in the government for only about two years and the turbulence the party was experiencing was normal as the membership was trying to settle and accept each other’s responsibilities.
Mangani stated that if President Sata had made mistakes, he still had three years to correct the mistakes and therefore the PF leadership could not start jostling for a position that had not yet been declared vacant.
He explained that what was happening in the ruling party where two factions have emerged with one for the endorsement of President Sata for the 2016 elections while the other against the endorsement was nothing but intra-party politics.
Mangani said there was a perception that the ruling party was getting divided and that there was need for the leadership to begin working together to consolidate the PF.
He said President Sata’s mandate to lead the ruling party and the country had a life span and that it was important that the Head of State was not detracted from fulfilling his vision of making Zambia an economically and politically stable country.
Mangani said senior PF leaders should be careful not to be misled by the supports as that had the potential of pitying leaders against each other.
‘It is his right (Kabimba) to aspire for any position in the party where he is a member. It is not strange in Zambia that a new political party could go through some turbulence before stabilizing and the tension that is said to be in our party is being exaggerated. For me, we have President Sata who is the leader of the party and we have the secretary general. Leadership is changed at the convention and we have not had one may until 2015 or 2016,” Mangani said.
And Mangani has said the humiliating defeats the ruling party has continued to suffer at the hands of the ruling party in Eastern Province was because former President Rupiah Banda was still a big political factor.
Mangani said former president Banda was still a popular leader among many Zambians especially in Eastern Province and that the ruling party would have to work on the perception that the former head of state was going to come into politics.
He said people in Eastern Province were being deceived that Banda was going to come back into politics and that he would contest the presidency in 2016.
“We have been losing the by-elections in Eastern Province because of an environment of deceit has been created that former President Banda is coming back to lead the country. Kenneth Kaunda did not come back and what makes people think that president Banda would bounce back? Banda was the president of the country and he still enjoys his national constituency,” Mangani said.