President Michael Sata wanted the Defence Minister Edgar Lungu to take over the Patriotic Front because of his humility and understanding, says Lusaka businessman Edgar Ngoma.
Speaking from his bed in South Africa where he is admitted at Morningside Clinic when Foreign Affairs deputy minister Rayford Mbulu visited him yesterday, Mr. Ngoma explained that President Sata had trust in Mr. Lungu.
Mr. Ngoma recalled how President Sata called him and Mr. Lungu to State House and asked him (Ngowa) to support Mr. Lungu.
He said when the two arrived, Mr. Sata shepherded them to his ground floor office as he had become too weak to go up the stairs to his usual office, adding that after the three had sat down, he then asked him (Mr. Ngoma) to direct all the support and energies to Mr. Lungu so that he (Mr. Lungu) “could succeed in what was ahead of him.
“After we sat, Mr. Sata said to us: ‘Whatever you were doing for me, do it for this one. Take all the people who want to support the party to this relative of yours.’ He told me to support Mr. Lungu and then immediately asked us to leave,” Mr. Ngoma narrated.
He said he had always had it in his mind that the then Defence Minister would one day lead Zambia and that he became even more convinced that the country had found its next President when Mr. Sata asked him to throw his weight behind Mr. Lungu.
“We refused to leave and quickly asked him to come with us to the next campaign rally in Solwezi. Mr. Sata refused and at that point, Mr. Lungu beckoned to me to help convince the big man. In his usual mannerisms, he paused, then lowered his spectacles from his eyes and gave us a piercing look.
“Mr. Sata then asked if he could come to the rally with some senior members who had been identified as leading the warring factions in the party. Mr. Sata’s strategy was also to use this as a way of reconciling the party. It was a wonderful time, with a lot of jubilation from the people when we arrived in Solwezi. President Sata eventually addressed the cheering crowd. I was not following President Sata then nor am I following President Lungu blindly.
I am well educated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Politics and a Master’s degree in the same discipline, both from Ashley University in the US, among other qualifications. I know what I have been doing and just thought I should share this so that people can get to know what transpired,” Mr. Ngoma said.
And Mr. Ngoma pledged to champion the drive of attracting South African private health sector investment into Zambia after he leaves hospital.
Mr. Ngoma who was full of praise for the clinic staff said Morningside had the state-of-the-art facilities coupled with professional personnel which made it possible for patients to recuperate well.
“Mr. Ngoma, who was evacuated to Morningside Clinic by the Zambian Government on Thursday, said he was feeling much better and was waiting for more procedures to be done on him. He thanked Government for facilitating his evacuation.
And Mr Mbulu said Zambia’s Mission in South Africa should not just focus on attracting the traditional commerce type of investment but should cast its net wider and approach private health facilities such as Morningside Clinic and invite them to invest in Zambia.
Mr. Mbulu, who was accompanied by Zambia’s High Commissioner- Designate to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba, pointed out that with its central location; Zambia had the potential of becoming the hub of medical service provision for the region.