MIKE Mulongoti says he has plans of forming a political party on which to stand for presidency in the 2016 elections.
Mulongoti, who is, former works and supply minister in the MMD government, yesterday said he had been traversing the countryside to garner support from would-be political supporters, before launching a platform to stand on.Mulongoti said he did not fully agree and share the values, aspirations and ideologies of the current available political parties hence his reluctance to join them.
“The Constitution of Zambia does not allow you to contest as a presidential candidate without being sponsored by a political party, meaning that you have no choice if you want to be President, you must find a vehicle (party). It’s not debatable. It’s a question of when,” Mulongoti said.
“It’s the timing. That one, (date) I cannot tell you. Forming a party involves a lot of consultations. We want to be democratic.”
Sources disclosed that Mulongoti and some other named officials had been holding meetings with a view to forming a political party that would counter the PF.
Mulongoti said he and his political allies whom he had received support from so far, would announce to the nation when they were ready.
Asked when the ideas of forming a party emerged as he had been a staunch supporter of President Michael Sata in the 2011 elections, Mulongoti said:
“Don’t forget I wanted to stand as vice-president in 2011 so that when Rupiah Banda goes, I take over in 2016, that is the direction I was taking. Of course that time, the platform was supposed to be MMD but the matrix changed so I had to find another route.
I lent support to the PF in the hope that maybe they will do so well that there will be no need for me to want to be President. The reason why we aspire to be there is to bring change.”
Asked if his plans to embark on campaigns for his presidential bid was to satisfy his personal ambition to be President only or being unsatisfied with what was obtaining in the country under the PF, Mulongoti said: “I supported Chiluba, he became President, I supported Mwanawasa, he became President. I supported Mr. Banda, he became President, what is wrong with supporting myself?” he asked.
“It’s now me next. As at now, I am the most prepared candidate. Right now I have better credentials than those who will aspire (for presidency in 2016).There is no guarantee that because you are in government, then you will be a success.”
Mulongoti said so far, he was disappointed with what was happening in the country and that Zambians could do better.
Quizzed further, on whether or not it was too early for him to judge President Sata and the PF, Mulongoti said President Sata would seriously and continuously be assessed by him on a daily basis until 2016.
“How long did it take to assess Rupiah Banda, only two years and some months,” he said.
He added that even if President Sata decided not to stand for presidency in 2016, it was a question of who they put up for leadership.
“If the person who is going to take over from Mr Sata is not acceptable to lead, I have to stand.
If I was MMD, my fight would have been to make MMD attractive, so that when it is my turn, I can be voted into office. That is how you work. You help prop others. Let them perform and deliver, the credit also comes to you. Then you go to the people and say ‘this is what we have done’,” he said.
And Mulongoti said that he anchored MMD because he stood against all odds for the party.