After trying several projects and calculations, the man at the centre of the PF succession gambling Fred Mmembe now seems to be losing the battle to install Wynter Kabimba president as the Kola Foundation has prevailed against the idea.
Senior sources within the PF say ailing president Michael Sata has been forced to dump the Kabimba presidency project engineered by Fred Mmembe, and is now considering his uncle Alexander Chikwanda to take over till 2016 when a suitable candidate will be identified.
Sources said president Sata almost fell for the idea of giving Kabimba because of pressure from Mmembe and former president Kenneth Kaunda even if he (Sata) does not even trust them fully.
But elders from Muchinga province have finally prevailed on him (Sata) to completely abandon the idea, especially after the experience from late Levy Mwanasawa who was given power by late Frederick Chiluba and later turned against him.
“After the continuous rumours about Kabimba succeeding Mr. Sata, elders from the Kola Foundation went to seek for clarification from the president who did not give them a clear answer. It was at that stage that they decided to engage the chiefs from Muchinga province to also add their voice against giving power to an outsider like Kabimba.
Sources said this week’s closed door meeting between Mr. Sata and the chiefs from Muchinga province finally sealed the failed Kabimba’s fate for presidential bid being championed by Mmembe and his group.
Impeccable sources said people like Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba who is also being undermined by the Mmembe and Kabimba group have been working underground with the Kola Foundation and had to involve the chiefs to also add the voice to have Chikwanda take-over.
Sources said ordinarily when the president is meeting chiefs from any province, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo and other related ministers would also be present and later a statement would be issued on what has been discussed.
But from this meeting, only Mr. Chikwanda and vice-president Guy Scott were present and so far there has been no statement on what was being discussed other than the famous pictures that were flashed.
Sources said Mr. Chikwanda as Finance Minister does not normally attend these meetings because he is a busy person who also handles presidential duties and the chiefs affairs issues have nothing to do with him.
“In fact we were surprised when you guys were writing about Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba being the preferred successor in the event of the presidential by-election. Kabimba without him knowing was just being used like a dog to chase away other people as Mr. Sata has been told in no uncertain terms never to give him the mantle,” sources said.
Sources said besides Mr. Sata does not actually trust these boys (Fred Mmembe, Mutembo Nchito and Wynter Kabimba) and was now told to give it to his uncle Mr. Chikwanda til 2016 and eventually manage the process thereafter.
Sources said the PF is so far in a huge fundraising drive for the eminent presidential by-election that may see each constituency receiving about K1 billion campaign funds.
“Most of the money is from road contracts, and you know that Mr. Sata’s campaign manager Willie Nsanda is the current Roads Development Agency (RDA) chairman which is managed at State House,” sources said.
Impeccable sources said the Mmembe group initially thought the Kabimba project would actually work, but they have been told to forget about it because the man (Kabimba) was not popular, an outsider, and not sellable even within the PF.
“In fact, Wynter is considered to be an outsider in the PF who is only close to Mr. Sata otherwise there is a huge revolt in PF against him and the Mmembe group that is being considered to be destroying the party.
Kabimba was only allowed by the president fix former president Rupiah Banda and other opponents like Given Lubinda,” sources said.
Sources said unless things change, Kabimba is nowhere near the PF presidency as there is a huge revolt against him by the Kola Foundation group that holds the PF presidency.
“In fact, the other option still on the table is to bring in NAREP president Elias Chipimo jnr or even MMD Lunte MP Felix Mutati, but from the latest meetings with the president, the Kola Foundation group has settled for Sata’s uncle Finance Minister Chikwanda as someone who can temporarily hold the party together and lead the presidency till 2016 when a suitable successor will have been groomed,” Sources said.
Sources said, in order to disguise the Kola Foundation tribal tag in the PF government and party, Kabimba may possibly be considered for the position of vice-presidency which is largely ceremonious in Zambia.
“Naimwe mwalishebe ati bamudala tabaleunfwa bwino elyo kuti bafileka anytime (You also know that the old man [Sata] is not feeling well and can give up power anytime). So he wants to give someone he really trusts and not these boys. Mr. Sata maybe be sick but was also told not to forget some of the insults and humiliation some of these boys subjected him in the past ,” sources said.
Sources said the president actually knows that the Mmembe cartel only supported him after the bid to install former Finance Minister Ngandu Magande as president failed in MMD after late Levy Mwanawasa died.
According to sources, Mr. Chikwanda is considered level headed who has been against most the evil schemes by the Mmembe that wanted him on his side but have failed so far to win him.