Yesterday Mr. Mulenga Sata announced that he was resigning from the Patriotic Front and joining the UPND. Mr Sata is one in a string of high profile PF members to defect in recent weeks, including former Vice President Guy Scott and his wife Charlotte Scott and Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and Miles Sampa. It would appear that the party leadership have alienated long standing members, whether that be through their rumored closeness to Rupiah Banda, their outspoken and often rude senior politicians or because they don’t believe in their leader is unclear, but one thing for sure is that they are in trouble.
Rumours have been circling that former MMD President Rupiah Banda and current PF President Edgar Lungu are close cahoots, a closeness which has not sat well with Sata loyalists. As a result, those who were previously some of the most ardent patriotic front supporters have decided to turn their back on the party and join Hakainde Hichilema in the UPND.
Mulenga Sata has said himself that disconnect within the PF has reached new heights, between the President and his inner circle and between the central committee and provincial teams. Mr Sata continued that his father’s body would be turning in his grave at the current state of the PF which he has left because of principle and conscience. He noted that the party was now being run by ‘hijackers.’
Just last night yet another high profile PF member, Frank Bwalya posted a cryptic but unmistakably anti-PF message. Writing on his own Facebook the PF Deputy Chairman appears to ask for the party to remove him from his post citing that he has failed. Mr Bwalya states ‘If the appointing authority asks me to step aside I will gladly do…’ Something is gravely wrong within the party.
It seems the PF is destroying itself from the inside out, infighting and conflicting ideologies will cause instability and a lack of cohesion which will prove fatal for the PF in the up and coming elections. There must be something seriously wrong within the party currently to have this many high profile figures unhappy and even deserting.