Come out and challenge me, Sata tells ministers

President Micheal Sata in Army Uniform
President Micheal Sata in Army Uniform

PRESIDENT Sata says Patriotic Front (PF) members who are willing to challenge him for the 2016 general elections should come out in the open and aspire for presidency because they are free to do so.
And Mr Sata has halted the debate on his endorsement for the 2016 presidential elections because nobody has proposed his name for PF members to continue endorsing him as a sole candidate.
Addressing Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and members of the PF central committee at State House yesterday, Mr Sata said party officials who are willing to become the next president should openly do so.
“Let all those, including Ms Masebo (Minister of Tourism and Arts), who are willing to become next president or ruler come out in the open. I am already here, I don’t need to rush to declare myself because I am already here.
“So you who are not here come out in the open, Mr Chenda, (Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry), Mr Wynter Kabimba (Minister of Justice and PF secretary general), and do something,” President Sata said.
Mr Sata also said a person can only be endorsed if his or her name has been proposed but that he has not been recommended by anybody.
“Unless you come out, nobody can come and say you are endorsing me, because if you understand English, you can only endorse if somebody has proposed. But nobody has proposed me, so how can you endorse me?” President Sata wondered.
He said there is nothing like sole candidate in the PF because doing so will be creating dictatorship in the party.
“And Honorouble Mwamba [Minister of Defence], in PF we don’t have sole candidates. The freedom of the PF is that everybody, even Mr Shamenda [Minister of Labour and Social Security], if he wants he should come out in the open and start aspiring because once we start having sole candidates, then you are drifting into dictatorship,” President Sata said.
And President Sata wondered why ministers and party officials have remained quiet when people and opposition leaders like United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema are busy attacking the party and Mr Kabimba.
Mr Sata said nobody is going to defend the party and Government if PF members do not protect party policies from attacks and tell the nation what Government is doing.
“Who do you think is going to answer for you? They are attacking Mr Kabimba you are not replying. Why have you not been talking? Why are you so quiet? Because if you think you are not fit to be what you are, let me know so that I can dissolve Parliament and we can go for a general election,” he said.
The President added: “You are being pounded left, right and centre. Today, Mr Hakainde says this Cabinet is blotted, again he says this Cabinet is tribal.”
Mr Sata wondered when Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilbur Simuusa, Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education John Phiri, Mr Chenda, Ms Masebo and Mr Kabimba became Bembas.
“Since when did Mr Simuusa become a Bemba, since when did Mr Chenda become a Bemba, since when did Ms Masebo become a Bemba and Mr Kabimba. You are being pounded left, right and centre and you are not replying,” he said.
Mr Sata said by keeping quiet and not defending the party and Government programmes, PF officials are starving the media with information.
“All of you members of the central committee, ministers you are starving the press because you are not replying. They are attacking you left, right and centre and you have just kept quiet. According to the public, if you don’t respond, silence means consent, that is the English we learnt,” he said.
The President urged ministers and members of the PF central committee to start defending and telling the citizens what the PF government has done for them.
Mr Sata said he invited members of the central committee to briefly attend the meeting so that they could get his message.
“Mr Freedom Sikazwe [Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development], you have grey hair but you can’t speak, Gerry Chanda [Muchinga Province Minister] has even removed his hair, you can’t speak. Mr Kambwili [Minister of Youth and Sport] he pretends to be a sportsman but he can’t speak.
“Start defending, start telling people what you have done, that is why I invited members of the central committee today so that they can come and attend this meeting briefly,” Mr Sata said.
He said if PF officials and ministers continue to keep quiet, people will listen to wrong messages like that of Mr Hichilema, who is alleging that the PF government is blotted.
“I don’t know where he learnt blotting from because he doesn’t even know his father’s name, so the person who doesn’t even know his father’s name, how can he know… probably you can ask Mr Fackson Shamenda. Is this a blotted Government Mr Shamenda, you are the Labour Minister?” President Sata asked.