KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Matero member of Parliament (MP) Miles Sampa has declared his intentions to be adopted as a presidential candidate on the ruling party ticket at the proposed extraordinary general conference.
And Mr Sampa has pledged loyalty to acting President Guy Scott, saying he was covered by the constitution to act and always been President Sataâ€™s right hand man.
Mr Sampa said overwhelming submissions from the youth and PF officials countrywide compelled him to apply for adoption as a presidential candidate.
Mr Sampa has relinquished his position as Central Committee chairperson for Commerce.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Sampa said President Sata never anointed anyone to take over the party presidency.
â€œThe late President always encouraged us to seek mandate from people through elections and he was not in favour of imposing anyone on party members.
â€œMr Sata used to say that real power lies with lower structures so a group of 40 people (Central Committee) canâ€™t steal this power from the grassroots and impose a candidate,â€ Mr Sampa said.
He narrated that during one of the meetings held with President Sata, some people asked him who his preferred successor was.
â€œPresident Sata responded that â€˜mukasala mwebeneâ€™ (you will choose on your own),â€ he said.
Mr Sampa, 44, said age is not a factor, looking at the number of developmental projects he is undertaking in his constituency.
â€œSome people say, Miles is young and he will be influenced but that will not happen, for instance, I risked my job when I abstained in Parliament from voting for the recently issued US$ 2 billion Eurobond because I understood things from a different perspective as an economist,â€ he said.
When asked about the position taken by the 63 MPs who wants the Central Committee to adopt a presidential candidate, Mr Sampa said the MPs are just a small fraction of the 5,000 delegates at the proposed general conference.
â€œI had money before coming into Government and I have been one of the financiers of the PF, I even provided vehicles for campaigns,â€ Mr Sampa said.
Later, Mr Sampa took his application to Dr Scottâ€™s office at Cabinet Office and left it with the messenger since the Acting President was out of office.
KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka