A wrangle is brewing between President Michael Sata’s relatives and Post Newspapers Chief Executive Officer Fred Mmembe and clique over President Sata’s health.
According to sources close to the Presidency, Sata’s relatives including First Lady Christine Kaseba have advised President Sata to emulate former Pope Bennedict now Pope Emiritus by stepping down.
The sources have told the Zambian Watchdog that the First Lady who is a medical doctor has advised her husband (President Sata) to resign owing to his fast declining health.
The sources say Mrs. Kaseba-Sata has been approaching elders telling them to convince the president to resign but had met serious opposition and resistance from Post Newspapers Editor In-Chief Fred Mmembe who has been advising President Sata to continue for now.
“The First Lady being a medical doctor has advised President Sata to resign in order to prolong his health and she has been meeting Sata’s family elders and influential people but Fred Mmembe and his clique are not for the idea,” the source said.
Sources say the Mmembe clique are insisting that the president continues as they strategize in removing and destroying all possible competition to their preferred successor, Wynter Kabimba before Mr. Sata can resign.
So far UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and former president Rupiah Banda have been particularly targeted by Mmembe and clique for hate messages framed around tribalism for Hakainde and corruption for Mr. Banda.
“The issue of trying to isolate and label Mr. Hichilema as a tribalist is a serious project at the Post newspaper that they want to portray for as long as possible. Of course they are also trying to see if they can cook up any arrest and charges for Mr. Hichilema and completely remove him from competition,” sources said.
The source said President Sata’s health has been declining very fast noting that he may have developed another problem which of kidney failure.
“The President is not okay, apart from his heart and prostrate cancer problem, Doctors suspect he may now have developed a kidney problem as a result of the two previous problems” the source said.
Meanwhile, another source has told the Zambian Watchdog that President Sata has been calling relatives to State House and asking them what he should do for them.
“President Sata has been showing very strange behaviour, he has been calling relatives to State House and asking them what he can do for them, it is like he is saying bye-bye to them,” the source said.
The source said in order to further conceal President Sata’s ill-health, State House with the help of former Director General of Intelligence Saviour Chungu, has installed more high value security gadgets aimed at tapping communication devices within State House grounds.
Recently, the Watchdog revealed that former Zambian dictator Kenneth Kaunda helps out in the president’s office on recommendation from Mmembe. See story here.