THERESA ZULU & CHANDA MWENYA, Lusaka
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) members in Matero yesterday converged on the ruling partyâ€™s constituency office to celebrate their member of Parliament (MP) Miles Sampaâ€™s resignation.
PF Matero constituency chairperson Crispin Kabole, who led scores of members to celebrate Mr Sampaâ€™s resignation, said the party is stronger and more united than ever.
â€œThe exit of Mr Sampa has brought peace and harmony in Matero constituency and the party is more united than ever. He is claiming to have overwhelming support in Matero but why is he going to launch his party in Kitwe if he is popular,â€ Mr Kabole said.
And PF Matero constituency vice-chairperson Wellington Mwanamwenge said Mr Sampaâ€™s departure from the party is a relief to the members.
â€œThe development projects which Mr Sampa claims to have brought to Matero were actually implemented by councillors and the ruling party. Let him point at projects he initiated in the constituency,â€ he said.
â€œThe party is bigger than an individual who thinks he can divide the party, now you can see how people are celebrating his departure,â€ Mr Mwanamwenge said while pointing at jubilant cadres.
PF Matero constituency chairlady Godfridah Mphanza said women are happy that Mr Sampa has resigned his position as MP.
â€œThe women are the stronghold of the party and they will not be affected but instead work together,â€ she said.
Meanwhile, HONE SIAME, MELODY MUPETA report that the PF on the Copperbelt has challenged Mr Sampa to form his own political party to prove his popularity ahead of the August 11 tripartite elections.
And Copperbelt minister Mwenya Musenge has welcomed Mr Sampaâ€˜s resignation and that his move has vindicated members who used to question his loyalty.
PF Copperbelt provincial chairperson Stephen Kainga said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that Mr Sampa is a divisive element who should now prove his popularity by facing President Lungu and other presidential candidates in this yearâ€™s elections.
Mr Kainga said Mr Sampaâ€™s conduct has hurt many people and that the PF does not want the confusion that Mr Sampa allegedly orchestrated before the January 20, 2015 presidential election.
He said PF members on the Copperbelt are still celebrating his resignation.
â€œMiles has done a great job by resigning. We donâ€™t need confusion where we are going. He should take his confusion elsewhere. Had it not been for the PF, no-one would have known him. He is not a factor. We will meet on the battlefield,â€ Mr Kainga said.
And Mr Musenge said in a separate interview that many PF members are vindicated by Mr Sampaâ€™s resignation because they have always known that he was just pretending to be working for the ruling party through his questionable party mobilisation activities.
He echoed Mr Kaingaâ€™s sentiments that his resignation has not left any dent on the party.
Mr Musenge, who is Chimwemwe MP, said Copperbelt is solidly behind President Lungu.
â€œPF is the party which made Miles popular. He has done the right thing rather than the way he was pretending to be for the Patriotic Front.
â€œIf he thinks he is popular, let him prove it,â€™â€™ Mr Musenge said.
And the PF in Southern Province has welcomed Mr Sampaâ€™s resignation saying it is long overdue, BELINDA CHABALA reports.
PF Southern Province chairperson Charles Hamududu said in an interview yesterday that Mr Sampaâ€™s resignation will not have any negative impact on the party.
Mr Hamududu said the PF under President Lunguâ€™s leadership has continued delivering development with success and will remain intact even after Mr Sampaâ€™s departure.
â€œOur party will not be shaken by Mr Sampaâ€™s exit, in fact it has been long overdue. The party will remain strong and come the August 11, 2016 general elections, we will emerge victorious,â€ Mr Hamududu said.
And DARLINGTON MWENDABAI and MIYENGO NYIRENGO report PF Eastern Province chairperson Andrew Lubusha said Mr Sampa has done the PF justice by resigning from the party.
Mr Lubusha said President Lungu tried to embrace Mr Sampa despite what he did before the January 20, 2015 presidential elections.
â€œAs PF in Eastern Province, we would like to welcome Mr Sampaâ€™s resignation and we are not shaken by his move,â€ Mr Lubusha said.
Meanwhile, Mr Sampa is today expected to hold a press briefing at Moba Hotel in Kitwe.
Mr Sampaâ€™s assistant, Ngolwe Sakala, said Mr Sampa, who was scheduled to address the press in Lusaka yesterday, rescheduled his press conference to today at Kitweâ€™s Moba Hotel at 14:30 hours.
Ms Sakala said she was preparing the programme for the press conference.
THERESA ZULU & CHANDA MWENYA, Lusaka