Mulenga Sata exits presidential race

LUSAKA Mayor Mulenga Sata has withdrawn his candidature for the Patriotic Front (PF) presidency, leaving the race to nine other contenders who include his mother, former first lady, Christine Kaseba.

The PF presidency fell vacant following the death of President Michael Sata on October 28 in London and was buried in Lusaka on November 11.

The PF is this weekend’s  holding general conference slated for the Mulungushi Rock of Authority in Kabwe, which is expected to elect a new party president ahead of the Republican Presidential by-election in January.

Mr. Mulenga Sata said he had been observing with a broken heart the lack of direction the party was exhibiting after the demise of his father.

He said the situation had forced him to withdraw from the party presidential race because he did not want to be party to the destruction taking place in the ruling party.

“We have been observing with sadness and dismay the lack of direction for some time now and we are glad that we have finally agreed that we are going for the convention to elect a president for our beloved party.

“But still the picture is not yet clear, we only have one PF party and we cannot allow this party to disintegrate and I am also not willing to contribute to the disintegration of the party my father worked so hard to put together and form Government in 2011,” said Mulenga.

He said much has been said and written about the presidential candidatures of the members of late Sata’s family.

“I am aware that some of these utterances by the party members and well-meaning Zambians have been tantamount to giving the impression that the Sata family is greedy and wants to perpetuate a legacy which could be likened to an imperial monarchy.”

He said the criticism from party officials and Zambians in general of the Sata family that it was greedy had created an opportunity for him to seriously reflect on what should be done.

“I have read and listened to some of these utterances with pain, but also with great attention. I have now had a serious opportunity to discuss all these matters with my mothers, Mrs. Margret Sata and the first lady Dr. Christine Kaseba, my wife and other members of my family,” said Mulenga.

Mulenga who is also Lusaka Mayor dispelled the notion that the family was at war with itself, adding that those of the family who entered the presidential race did so out of a genuine desire to serve the PF and the nation.

“I am therefore announcing my unilateral decision to withdraw my presidential candidature for the PF with immediate effect.

In political terms I am still a young man and will therefore reserve my right to present my presidential candidature in the future,” he said.