‘Double-dealing’ deputy minister quits


DEPUTY Minister of Justice and Chilanga MMD member of Parliament (MP) Keith Mukata has resigned from his ministerial position and joined the United Party for National Development (UPND).
But the PF has described him as an underweight who has been a huge liability to the ruling party.
And 11 MMD MPs have said they will support UPND president Hakainde Hichilema in the August 11 general elections.
The MMD has 34 MPs.
The MMD MPs who have thrown their weight behind Mr Hichilema are Sinda’s Levy Ngoma, Mumbwa’s Brian Chituwo, Nalikwanda’s Geoffrey Lungwangwa, Liuwa’s Situmbeko Musokotwane and Keembe’s Ronnie Shikapwasha.
Others are Kasempa MP Kabinga Mpande, Moses Muteteka of Chisamba and Christopher Kalila of Lukulu.
The rest are Zambezi East’s Sara Sayifwanda, Ikileng’i’s Elijah Muchima and Ndalamei Mundia for Sikongo.
Mr Mukata announced his decision to relinquish his position at a press briefing that was addressed by Mr Hichilema in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Hichilema has asked Zambians to vote for him in the forthcoming general elections, saying he will improve the economy and reduce the cost of living if he is elected President.
But chief Government spokesperson and Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Chishimba Kambwili has dismissed Mr Mukata’s sentiments and advised him to disclose that he has been working with the UPND for some time now.
Mr Kambwili said Mr Mukata has allegedly been playing tribal politics.
“Mr Mukata should not criticise the President but should tell the nation what he has been telling the people that Chilanga has a lot of Tongas than any other tribe and that he cannot win the seat if he contested on any other political party apart from the UPND.
And PF Chilanga district chairperson Simon Nsunge says the party in Chilanga is happy that Mr Mukata has joined the UPND because he is allegedly a finished politician who has been working to divide the party.
Mr Nsunge said Mr Mukata was a political liability to the PF and the people of Chilanga and his departure is “good riddance”.
“Mr Mukata worked very well to antagonise civil servants and the council just to gain selfish political mileage. This has rendered him very unpopular among civil servants in Chilanga,” he said.
Mr Nsunge said the Chilanga parliamentarian is difficult to work with because of his ‘I know it all’ attitude.
Meanwhile, MMD national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima has attributed the endorsement of the UPND by 11 MMD MPs as an indictment on Nevers Mumba.
Mr Mbulakulima, in an interview yesterday, said it is sad that a once vibrant party has reached levels where its MPs are pledging allegiance to other parties.
He cited resignations, expulsions, suspensions, bickering and Dr Mumba’s refusal to reconcile with former President Rupiah Banda as some of the reasons why the party is disintegrating.

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